US President-elect Joe Biden rang round allies in Seoul, Sydney and Tokyo Thursday, vowing to repair frayed partnerships and reaffirming mutual-defence pacts thrown in doubt by the current White House. A day after Biden’s series of “America is back” calls with European leaders, the former vice president spoke to Australia’s Scott Morrison, South Korea’s Moon Jae-in and the recently installed Japanese leader Yoshihide Suga. All three men had already congratulated Biden on his recent election victory over Donald Trump, despite the incumbent’s refusal to concede. Biden’s call with Suga included a stark warning from the Japanese prime minister that the “security situation is increasingly severe” around the region, according to an account of the call from Japanese officials. Suga’s unusually frank analysis was met with Biden expressing his “deep commitment to the defence of Japan” and to decades-old treaty obligations, according to his transition team. During the four-year Trump administration, America’s regional allies often questioned whether the mercurial president would uphold long-standing promises to defend them in the event of a military conflagration.