Kishida keen to visit U.S. for Biden talks “early next year”

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks during an interview with The Yomiuru Shimbun on Thursday.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida hopes to visit the United States in January for a summit meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden, and he “isn’t considering” dissolving the House of Representatives soon for a general election, Kishida said in an exclusive interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun on Thursday.

The prime minister said he was keen to visit the United States “early next year, if possible.”

Items on the agenda of a meeting with Biden would likely include the three recently revised security-related documents that will guide Japan’s foreign and defense policies for the next 10 years.

Kishida has not visited Washington D.C. since he became prime minister in October 2021.

Biden will visit Japan to attend the Group of Seven summit meeting in Hiroshima in May 2023.

Kishida said a possible visit by Biden to Nagasaki during his trip was a matter “for the United States to decide.” However, Kishida expressed hope that Biden would visit the city devastated by a U.S. atomic bomb on Aug. 9, 1945.

“Having world leaders see for themselves the reality of the atomic bombing will be important for efforts working toward our big goal of a world without nuclear weapons,” Kishida said.

In the interview, Kishida stressed that he did not intend to dissolve the lower house for an election.

“I’m not considering that at the moment,” Kishida said, citing the need to tackle issues such as the fundamental strengthening of Japan’s defense capabilities and measures to combat the nation’s chronically low birthrate.

“These are important issues that will affect Japan’s future and mark a new chapter in our history,” Kishida said. “I’ll work on these issues one by one.”

More coverage of this interview will be carried in The Japan News at a later date.