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Biden says don't bet against U.S. or Japan

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Biden is in Japan after spending several days in China
  • The U.S. vice president says he has come to Japan to express sympathy and support
  • Biden: "There are voices in the world who are counting us out. They are making a very bad bet"

Tokyo (CNN) -- Vice President Joe Biden has warned about betting against the U.S. and Japan's power to overcome recent troubles like the debt crisis and the March earthquake and tsunami.

"There are voices in the world who are counting us out. They are making a very bad bet," Biden said Tuesday in Tokyo while meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

Biden was in Tokyo Tuesday after several days in China. His remarks echoed statements he had made earlier in China about America's ability to handle debt. Biden is expected to visit Japan's tsunami-ravaged coast.

Biden said he came to Japan to express sympathy and support.

The resolve and courage of the Japanese was a "model for the whole world," Biden said.

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Before coming to Japan, Biden was in China at the invitation of his counterpart Xi Jinping as part of planned reciprocal visits by the two nations' vice presidents.

Political analysts said Biden's trip was an opportunity for American officials to get to know Xi, who is considered a likely successor to President Hu Jintao.

China is the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt with around $900 billion in U.S. bonds, according to the U.S. Treasury. In light of a debt crisis and a downgrade by ratings agency Standard & Poor's, some have questioned the ability of American lawmakers to create policies to rein in the nation's debt.

The economy has been front and center during Biden's trip, with both Xi and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao seeking reassurance that the U.S. debts are secure. Biden responded he had unequivocal confidence in the recovery and growth of the American economy.

"No one has ever made money betting against America," he said Friday.