On April 16, 2021, President Joseph Biden of the United States and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan held a meeting in Washington DC. This was the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders since the Biden administration took office, and the two exchanged opinions on important issues between the United States and Japan, including the US-Japan alliance and regional security, climate change, and measures to tackle the global COVID-19 pandemic.
During their meeting, Biden and Suga announced the launch of the Competitiveness and Resilience (CoRe) Partnership, a joint initiative to revitalize the bilateral alliance in ways that will “advance innovation, end this pandemic and protect the world from future ones, combat the climate crisis, and enhance our people-to-people ties.”
As part of the CoRe partnership, the United States and Japan announced their intention to “enhance our support to the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator [ACT-Accelerator], including the COVAX facility, and encourage others to do the same thereby collectively filling the financial needs to ensure equitable access to safe, effective, and affordable vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics particularly in developing countries.”
This important statement indicates the two countries’ intent to help close the financial gap in the three pillars of the ACT-Accelerator initiative—vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics—and accordingly, it suggests that further commitments will be made to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in the coming months, as the Global Fund serves as the lead agency of the diagnostic pillar of the ACT-Accelerator, while also providing support to the therapeutic and health system strengthening pillars.