Japan PM Fumio Kishida to Visit U.S. in April as State Guest; May Address Joint Session of Congress (UPDATE 1)

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida shakes hands with U.S. President Joe Biden in Hiroshima in May 2023.

WASHINGTON — Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will make an official visit to the United States on April 10 as a state guest, the White House said Thursday.

Kishida will hold summit talks with U.S. President Joe Biden and be the guest of honor at a formal state dinner.

The two leaders are expected to discuss concrete measures to deepen Japan-U.S. relations amid a backdrop of China intensifying its hegemonic behavior and North Korea continuing its nuclear and missile development.

It will be the first visit to the U.S. by a Japanese prime minister as a state guest since the late Shinzo Abe did so in 2015. The possibility of Kishida, who will be accompanied by his wife Yuko, emulating Abe by addressing a joint session of the U.S. Congress is being considered.

“Japan is one of our closest allies in the whole world,” White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said. “I think you can expect to see a robust discussion about how we’re deepening our bilateral cooperation with Japan and improving our alliance capabilities across the board, but also how we’re working together across a range of other threats and challenges in the Indo-Pacific.”

The leaders will also discuss trilateral security cooperation between Japan, the U.S. and South Korea, he said.

Kishida will be the fifth foreign leader that Biden has hosted as a state guest since taking office in January 2021, following those from France, India, South Korea and Australia.