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White House Refuses to Apologize for Calling Japan ‘Xenophobic’

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White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to apologize after President Biden called US ally Japan “xenophobic.”

When asked about Biden’s comment at a fundraiser, Jean-Pierre said the president was making a broader case about immigration being central to America’s identity and strength.

“Think about it,” Biden said. “Why is China stalling so bad economically? Why is Japan having trouble? Why is Russia?”

“Because they’re xenophobic,” he said. “They don’t want immigrants.”

Critics argue increased immigration hurts American workers by driving down wages and pushing some out of jobs, while benefiting coastal elites.

Jean-Pierre maintained immigration makes the US stronger but did not directly apologize to Japan, a key ally.

“The president last night described Japan as ‘xenophobic’ along with China and Russia. Was that intentional? a reporter asked. “Does the president want to apologize to Japan?”

“The broader case that he was trying to make,” Jean-Pierre said, “which I think most — most leaders and allies across the globe understand, is he’s — he was trying — he was saying that when it comes to — when it comes to — when it comes to who we are as a nation, we are a nation of — of immigrants. That is in our DNA.”

“And — and so — and you’ve heard the President say this, and you’ve heard us say it more as an administration. It’s in — it makes us better. We are stronger for it because of the fact that in our DNA we are a nation of immigrants. And I think that’s probably very important to note as well,” she said.

The incident highlights the political challenges around balancing immigration policy with relations between allies.

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