Japan PM to address US Congress on April 11

Connie Queline

Japan PM to address US Congress on April 11

TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has been invited to address a joint session of the US Congress during a visit next month, congressional leaders said.
The April 11 speech will be the first by a premier of the close US ally since the late Shinzo Abe did so in 2015.
The trip, which includes a state dinner, shows Washington’s focus on a crucial alliance as both nations try to manage an increasingly assertive China and unpredictable North Korea.
The Senate’s Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Kishida’s visit and address would “deepen the diplomatic and security relationship between our two countries.”
“At a time when democracy is under threat from authoritarian regimes around the world, it is now more important than ever for the United States to show our support and maintain relationships with our allies and partners,” he said in a statement on Monday.
The White House had announced in January that President Joe Biden would host Kishida on April 10, calling Japan “one of our closest allies in the whole world”.
The visit could see an announcement on Japan being invited to collaborate on defence technology under the AUKUS security partnership between the United States, Britain and Australia, Japan’s Nikkei reported on Saturday quoting unnamed US officials.
Japan would be invited to collaborate on AUKUS’s Pillar 2 focusing on developing advanced warfighting capabilities such as AI, undersea drones, and hypersonic and electronic warfare technologies, the report said.
Pillar 1 centres on helping Australia acquire conventionally armed nuclear-powered submarines.
Japanese officials did not immediately respond to a request to comment on the Nikkei report.
Kishida’s visit will come eight months after Biden hosted Kishida and South Korea’s premier at his Camp David retreat for a landmark summit that rattled China.
SOURCE

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