Congressional leaders invite prime minister of Japan to address Congress in April

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida delivers a speech during the Japan-Ukraine Conference for Promotion of Economic Growth and Reconstruction at Keidanren Kaikan building in Tokyo, Monday, Feb. 19, 2024. (Kazuhiro Nogi/Pool Photo via AP)
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional leaders have invited the prime minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, to address a joint meeting of Congress on April 11, saying the relationship between the U.S. and Japan has proven to be a force for good and a catalyst for prosperity.

Leaders said global threats are endangering the peace and prosperity the U.S. and Japan have worked to establish, making the relationship between the two nations as important as ever.

“It is our belief that our shared commitment to defense and democracy can lead to a future marked by stability and security,” the invitation read. “Together our leadership can be instrumental in strengthening our partnership, and we believe a Joint Address would pave the way for increased collaboration in the years to come, both in the Indo-Pacific and around the world."

“We would be honored to host you at this historic event, which celebrates the friendship between Japan and the United States, and to hear your vision for the future of our two countries," it added.

The invitation came from House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries.

Joint meetings are typically held to hear an address from foreign dignitaries.

Johnson said in a separate statement that the invitation is “laying the foundation for collaboration in the years to come.” Schumer, meanwhile, said the visit would "build on the strength of decades of cooperation.”

Kishida has been battling falling popularity ratings at home as his governing party confronts a corruption scandal that focuses on political funds being raised through party event tickets bought by individuals, companies and organizations. Kishida has apologized, though he is not the focus of the scandal.