During a joint press conference with Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, United States President Joe Biden was questioned on Friday about national pressing issues like the spike in cases related to gun violence and the US Senate being inactive towards gun reforms. 

Talking about the lack of fulfilment of the gun reform initiative Biden said, “I have never not prioritised” the issue and went on to pass the baton to US lawmakers. He said, “Congress has to step up to act. The Senate has to act.”

The US Commander-in-Chief then emphasised that the position he holds demands him to focus on a plethora of issues that plague the country. He added, “It doesn’t mean that I can’t also be working at the same on the economy and on COVID.”

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This was Biden’s first meet with an international leader after taking over the oval office in January 2021.

The leaders – Biden and PM Suga – first had a closed-door meeting in the White House after which a joint press conference was conducted at the Rose Garden.

Hours before the joint press conference, Biden wrote on Twitter, “Vice President Harris and I have been briefed on the mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis. God bless the eight individuals we lost and their loved ones, and we pray for the wounded for their recovery. We can, and must, do more to reduce gun violence and save lives.”

During the press conference, Japanese PM Suga spoke about his hopes of organising “safe and secure” Olympics later this year amid the looming threat of COVID-19. 

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He said Japan is “doing everything possible to contain the infection and to realize safe and secure games from scientific and objective perspectives”.

Biden and Suga also jointly “agreed to oppose” any hostile undertakings carried out by China and to contain the increasing dominance the country has been trying to assert in the Indo-Pacific region.