February 08, 2024

Young, Colleagues Request Speaker Johnson Invite Japanese Prime Minister to Give Joint Address to Congress

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joined Senators Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and a bipartisan group of senators in sending a letter to Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Mike Johnson encouraging him to invite Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to address a Joint Session of Congress during his Official Visit to the United States in April 2024.

“This year marks the 64th anniversary of the signing of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty as well as the 5th anniversary of the signing of the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement and U.S.-Japan Digital Trade Agreement. Inviting Prime Minister Kishida to address Congress would be a timely and tangible expression of the unwavering commitment of the United States to our Alliance and to a Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” the senators wrote.

“Our Alliance with Japan is also fundamental to stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific. Japan—a vibrant democracy with strong people-to-people ties with our country—is the fifth-largest goods trading partner with the United States. Japanese firms are the second-largest source of foreign direct investment in our country,” the senators continued.

“A strong U.S.-Japan Alliance is more important than ever. Inviting Prime Minister Kishida to address a Joint Session of Congress would further enhance our bilateral diplomatic ties and highlight the shared strategic interests and values between our two nations,” the senators concluded.

In addition to Senators Young, Hagerty, and Hirono, Senators Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Angus King (I-Maine), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) also joined the letter.

The full letter can be found here and below.

Dear Speaker Johnson:

We write to encourage you to invite Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan to address a Joint Session of Congress during his Official Visit to the United States in April 2024.  This year marks the 64th anniversary of the signing of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty as well as the 5th anniversary of the signing of the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement and U.S.-Japan Digital Trade Agreement.  Inviting Prime Minister Kishida to address Congress would be a timely and tangible expression of the unwavering commitment of the United States to our Alliance and to a Free and Open Indo-Pacific.

The U.S.-Japan Alliance is the cornerstone of U.S. security interests in the Indo-Pacific.  The United States has more active-duty service members in Japan than any other foreign country.  In recent years, the Alliance has stood up to critical challenges in the region, including North Korean nuclear and missile threats and the Chinese military’s aggressive actions in the Taiwan Strait, South China Sea, and elsewhere.

Our Alliance with Japan is also fundamental to stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific.  Japan—a vibrant democracy with strong people-to-people ties with our country—is the fifth-largest goods trading partner with the United States.  Japanese firms are the second-largest source of foreign direct investment in our country.  Moreover, the United States and Japan have worked closely together to broaden critical multilateral partnerships in the region, including the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue with India and Australia as well as the Trilateral partnership with South Korea.

A strong U.S.-Japan Alliance is more important than ever.  Inviting Prime Minister Kishida to address a Joint Session of Congress would further enhance our bilateral diplomatic ties and highlight the shared strategic interests and values between our two nations.  We thank you for your consideration on this important matter.

Sincerely,