"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Press Conference by Prime Minister Kishida regarding His Visit to the United States of America (2)

[Date] April 11, 2024
[Source] Cabinet Public Affairs Office, Cabinet Secretariat
[Notes] Provisional translation
[Full text]

(On the Prime Minister's impression upon completing his address at a Joint Meeting of the United States Congress; on the significance and the outcome of the Japan-U.S.-Philippines trilateral summit meeting and the possibility of that summit being held on a regular basis)

I delivered my address in the hope of conveying a forward-looking message not only to the United States Congress but also to the American people and moreover to the world, namely that with the international community now at a historic turning point, what kind of world should Japan and the United States as global partners leave for the future and for the next generation, and what must Japan and the U.S. do to make that come about.

In concrete terms, the international order that the United States has built up is now facing new challenges. In my address, after pointing out that freedom and democracy are under threat around the world, I conveyed my thinking that leadership by the U.S. continues to be absolutely indispensable, and towards that end, Japan stands ready to shoulder responsibility together with the United States. As a solid alliance, the Japan-U.S. Alliance is one based on enduring friendship, and global partners of that type will continue to be so in the future as well. I believe my address conveyed that together with a concrete vision for such a future. Looking at the reactions to my address, I feel that I succeeded in communicating those thoughts to a significant number of the members of Congress.

As for the Japan-U.S.-Philippines trilateral framework, it was the first time to convene a summit among the three of us. In order to uphold and reinforce the free and open international order based on the rule of law, there is a need for multi-layered cooperation among allies and like-minded countries. I believe that Japan, the United States, and the Philippines, as maritime nations connected by the same sea, are natural partners. As such, I consider it important for our three nations to engage in broad-based cooperation.

Our meeting included an exchange of views regarding regional and international affairs, and besides that, we discussed a broad array of fields, including such economic issues as infrastructure, reinforcing our supply chains, and telecommunications as well as matters of diplomacy and security. The outcome also included a Joint Vision Statement, through which we indicated our overarching direction.

As for whether or not this will become a regularly held meeting, while nothing has been determined as of yet, I believe all three leaders shared the view that this trilateral framework is something we wish to continue to place importance on in the future.

(On whether or not the Prime Minister succeeded in spreading an understanding of the importance of the Japan-U.S. Alliance and investment from Japan; on whether or not the Prime Minister is considering attending the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in July, and on whether or not that topic arose during the Japan-U.S. bilateral summit meeting)

During this visit to the United States, what I placed emphasis on was what Japan and the U.S. have achieved and what we have built up thus far in our bilateral relations through our deep relationship of trust as well as our multi-layered friendly relations. I also underlined the fact that Japan and the United States are important global partners in terms of upholding and reinforcing the free and open international order based on the rule of law. In that sense, as one example, last night's State Dinner became in my view a valuable opportunity to show that Japan-United States relations are truly supported and bolstered by people across a wide spectrum of fields.

Also, during today's address at the U.S. Congress, as I stated just now, I sent out a forward-looking message grounded in common values shared by Japan and the United States, and I think I succeeded in communicating that to the Congress, the American people, and, indeed, the larger international community.

As part of that, with regard to our economic relations, President Biden and I were able to see fully eye to eye with regard to Japan being the largest investor nation in the world towards the United States, Japan giving rise to significant employment and contributing to not only the strengthening of industry but also the development of local communities, and also the promotion of investment flows in both directions being extremely important for Japan-U.S. bilateral relations leading the global economy. Also, I felt that in the United States a strong common recognition about these points has been spreading as a common recognition across party lines.

I have now come to North Carolina, and during the observation tour I will go on starting tomorrow, I will confirm with my own eyes how much Japanese companies are contributing to the U.S. economy, as I just mentioned now, and I hope also to make it an opportunity to send out a message about that.

Next, as for your question about the upcoming diplomatic schedule, with regard to the NATO summit and the Japan-U.S.-Republic of Korea trilateral summit you mentioned, while nothing has been decided yet, from the stance of global partners that we confirmed during this trip to the United States, I intend to act in response to such diplomatic occasions as well.