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STORY BY HYONHEE SHIN, SAKURA MURAKAMI, SIMON LEWIS

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Published on November 12, 2020 3:36 AM

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Biden reassures U.S. allies in calls with leaders of Japan, South Korea, Australia
SEOUL/TOKYO/WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) - In their first calls with Joe Biden since the U.S. election, the leaders of Japan, South Korea and Australia on Thursday reaffirmed plans to form close ties with the president-elect to tackle issues including climate change and regional security.

The three key Asian allies - Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison - join other global leaders in recognizing the Democratic challenger's Nov. 3 victory over incumbent Donald Trump, who has so far refused to concede.

Biden's projected win comes against a backdrop of China's growing military and economic assertiveness in the region, and after years of sometimes tumultuous relations between Asian allies and the United States under Trump over issues including trade, defence and the environment.

All sides expressed their determination to strengthen bilateral ties as well as tackle global issues such as the coronavirus pandemic and climate change, Biden's office said.

Japan's Suga said he spoke with Biden by telephone and confirmed the importance of bilateral ties.

"President-elect Biden said that he looks forward to strengthening the U.S.-Japan alliance and working together on ...