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Biden describes his ally Japan along with China, Russia and India as “xenophobic”

President Biden called Japan a “xenophobic” country during a campaign rally Wednesday night, placing the U.S. ally in a group with authoritarian rivals such as China and Russia and suggesting that a lack of immigration may be the reason why which nations were “so stagnant economically.” “

The comments, widely reported Thursday in the Japanese press, came less than a month after Biden hosted Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on a high-profile state visit to cement their alliance. The president also suggested that India, another nation associated with the United States on security measures, was afraid of foreigners in his comments.