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Japanese Prime Minister Signals Shift from US Defense Ally to Global Partner to Fight Oppression

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WASHINGTON – Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was in Washington, D.C. this week discussing security concerns in his part of the world. 

In an address before a joint session of Congress, Kishida stressed that Japan is now not only a defense ally of the U.S. but also a global partner, ready to take on a greater role in international affairs. 

"I'm here to say that Japan is already standing shoulder to shoulder with the United States. You are not alone. We are with you," Prime Minister Kishida said.

He said his country wants to help preserve freedom and democracy worldwide, not just in the Indo-Pacific.

"The Japanese people are fully committed to these values. I do not want to leave our children a society where human rights were oppressed, where political self-determination is denied, where our lives are monitored by digital technology. I know you don't either," said Kishida. 

William Chou, a Japan Chair fellow with the Hudson Institute, explained, "He, himself, is trying to speak to the American people to remind them that, 'Hey, a lot of the concerns that you might have about other countries just freeloading off American power, and American, you know, treasure, and sweat, and tears, and blood. That's not true. You know, like Japan is here to share the burden with you.'"

Chou tells CBN News that Kishida's speech highlighted a shift to a more extensive alliance. 

"What you're having here is a more comprehensive approach that integrates security, trade, economic security, and also a larger sort of technological development," Chou said. 

Kishida pointed out examples such as Japan providing $12 billion in aid to Ukraine, collaborating with the U.S. space program, and investing in the American economy.

"As the geo-political landscape changed and as Japan grew in confidence, we expanded our outlook beyond being America's closest ally. We first became regional partners, and now we have become your global partner," the Prime Minister said.

As Japan steps into more of a global role, its focus is to partner with other like-minded nations. Thursday's summit was a key example. It was the first ever involving the U.S., Philippines, and Japan. 

Kishida says cooperation between the three countries is key to maintaining peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific.

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About The Author

Caitlin Burke Headshot

Caitlin Burke serves as National Security Correspondent and a general assignment reporter for CBN News. She has also hosted the CBN News original podcast, The Daily Rundown. Some of Caitlin’s recent stories have focused on the national security threat posed by China, America’s military strength, and vulnerabilities in the U.S. power grid. She joined CBN News in July 2010, and over the course of her career, she has had the opportunity to cover stories both domestically and abroad. Caitlin began her news career working as a production assistant in Richmond, Virginia, for the NBC affiliate WWBT