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Japanese Premier Hails US 'Pivotal Role' In World Affairs

11.04.2024 19:12

Fumio Kishida is first Japanese prime minister to address US Congress since 2015.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Thursday that the US must continue to play a major role in global affairs.

"The world needs the United States to continue playing this pivotal role in the affairs of nations," Kishida said during an address to a joint meeting of Congress.

Kishida said he was speaking to lawmakers as a "long and close friend" of the US as he is the first Japanese prime minister to address Congress since 2015.

He said freedom and democracy are currently under threat around the globe as he stressed that the international order is facing new challenges.

Turning to the ongoing war in Ukraine, Kishida decried the Russian war against Kyiv as "unprovoked, unjust, and brutal."

"As I often say, the Ukraine of today may be the East Asia of tomorrow," he said, adding close coordination between Japan and the US is required more than ever.

"The leadership of the United States is indispensable. Without US support, how long till hopes of Ukraine will collapse under the onslaught from Moscow?" said Kishida, stressing that Japan will continue to stand with Ukraine.

Regarding ties with the US, Kishida said Japan has become a global partner with the US, and hailed the close vision and approach between the countries.

The prime minister received a standing ovation from Congress when he said Japan would gift the US 250 cherry trees to be planted around the Tidal Basin in Washington DC to mark the 250th anniversary of American independence.

Before his visit to the US, Kishida said with the international community approaching a "historic turning point," he intends to deliver an address firmly focused on the future -- what kind of international community and what sort of future should Japan and the US aim to bring about, and what must Japan and the US do to make those a reality.

"I wish to take this as an opportunity to send out a clear message to the US. Congress, the American people, and, indeed, the entire world regarding such matters as these, based on the various experiences and knowledge I have gained regarding diplomacy," he added.

In the first official visit to the US by a Japanese prime minister in nine years, Kishida met President Joe Biden at the White House on Wednesday, where they unveiled plans for military cooperation and projects to strengthen their alliance. -

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