Japan PM to address US Congress next month

According to a report in NHK, US House Speaker Johnson released a statement along with bipartisan leaders of the House and Senate on Monday…reports Asian Lite News

Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has been invited to address a joint session of the US Congress on April 11, congressional leaders said, according to Kyodo news agency.

Kishida is scheduled to travel to Washington for an official visit next month.

House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson and other congressional leaders in a letter to Kishida on Monday said that his address, the first by a Japanese leader in nine years, is necessary with the relationship between the United States and Japan “as important as ever,” Kyodo reported.

According to a White House statement, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will host Fumio and his wife Kishida Yuko for the official visit, which will include a state dinner, on April 10.

“The visit will underscore the enduring strength of our Alliance partnership, the unwavering US commitment to Japan, and Japan’s increasing global leadership role,” the statement from Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre read.

“President Biden and Prime Minister Kishida will discuss efforts to strengthen political, security, economic, and people-to-people ties so that our Alliance is postured to address evolving challenges and advance our shared vision for a free, open, secure, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region and world,” the White House said.

The last time a Japanese prime minister addressed a joint session of Congress was in 2015, when the late Abe Shinzo delivered a speech.

According to a report in NHK, US House Speaker Johnson released a statement along with bipartisan leaders of the House and Senate on Monday.

In the statement, he says, “It is our honour to host Prime Minister Kishida for his first joint address” to the US Congress. “Now, more than ever, we must speak out against tyranny and continue our pursuit of freedom and democracy worldwide,” the Japanese media outlet reported.

Johnson, according to the NHK report praised the Japan-US security treaty, calling it a “shining example of international cooperation and diplomacy.” He describes the bilateral alliance as a “cornerstone of stability and security” for both nations and the world.

The Japanese media outlet further cited sources to say that Kishida is also considering a trip outside Washington to see Japanese companies doing business in the United States.

Kishida’s US visit comes eight months after Biden hosted Japan’s Prime Minister and South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol at the US presidential retreat of Camp David for a landmark summit focused on accelerating an anti-China policy.

At the end of the first trilateral summit of the three countries, a joint statement condemned the “dangerous and aggressive behaviour” by China and expressed stern opposition against any attempt to change the status quo in the Indo-Pacific.

Additionally, the joint declaration by US, Japan and South Korea expressed shared concerns over Chinese actions in supporting unlawful maritime claims in the South China Sea, as well as their strong opposition to any unilateral actions by Beijing aimed at changing the existing situation in the Indo-Pacific waters.

They also opposed the militarization of reclaimed features; the dangerous use of coast guard and maritime militia vessels and coercive activities, and further expressed concern about illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. (ANI)

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