Hagerty Statement on Prime Minister Kishida’s Official Visit to the United States

April 9, 2024

WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, today released the following statement welcoming Prime Minister Kishida as he begins his official visit to the United States:

“I am pleased to welcome Japanese Prime Minister Kishida for his Official Visit to the United States and, as former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, I am especially honored to have led the successful bipartisan effort requesting that congressional leaders invite the Prime Minister to give an address to a Joint Meeting of Congress. Indeed, Prime Minister Kishida’s Official Visit is timely as this year marks not only the 64th anniversary of the signing of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, but also the 5th anniversary of the signing of the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement and U.S.-Japan Digital Trade Agreement that I helped negotiate during my time as U.S. Ambassador. 

“The United States and Japan continue to strengthen the Alliance as our nations face critical challenges in the region, including North Korean nuclear and missile threats and China’s growing military aggression in the Taiwan Strait, East and South China Seas, West Philippines Sea, and elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific. In particular, Prime Minister Kishida has made great strides to strengthen the Alliance by increasing Japan’s defense spending, acquiring long-range counterstrike capabilities, and working with the United States to strengthen trilateral partnerships respectively with South Korea and now the Philippines. 

“The U.S.-Japan Alliance forms the cornerstone of peace and security in the Free and Open Indo-Pacific. Indeed, I believe our relationship with Japan is one of our most important alliances in the world. As Senator, I will continue to do all I can to strengthen our bilateral diplomatic, economic, technological, and military ties with Japan and to ensure the Alliance reaches new heights.”