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Shaheen Statement After Attending Japanese Prime Minister Address to Congress

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services, Appropriations and Foreign Relations Committees, today attended the joint address to Congress by Fumio Kishida, Japan’s Prime Minister. Earlier this month, Shaheen traveled to the Indo-Pacific, stopping in Japan where she met with Prime Minister Kishida, Minister of Defense Minoru Kihara and National Security Adviser Akibo Takeo. During those meetings, Senator Shaheen highlighted New Hampshire’s robust trade industry and invited increased cooperation with the United States on manufacturing. Additionally, Shaheen highlighted the Japan Self-Defense Forces’ recent acquisition of the KC-46 refueling tanker and the work of the New Hampshire National Guard in developing a training syllabus for Japan and other KC-46 foreign military sales partners.

“It was an honor to attend today’s joint address of Congress by Prime Minister Kishida. Having just met with the Prime Minister while visiting Japan, I was pleased to hear him speak out in support of Ukraine and reiterate his intention to further engage with the United States on important issues, such as protecting democracy, increasing military cooperation and modernizing defense capabilities,” said Shaheen. “Our Indo-Pacific partners are critical components of our national security apparatus and it’s important we continue to strengthen our coordination on global security.”

Shaheen brought Sawako Tachibana Gardner of Rye, New Hampshire, as her guest to today’s speech. Gardner is a first-generation Japanese American and Vice President of the Japan-America Society of NH. She was appointed as a judge for the Portsmouth District Court in 2004.

“On behalf of the Japan-America Society of New Hampshire, and as a first generation Japanese-American, I was delighted that Senator Shaheen invited me to be her guest at Prime Minister Kishida’s address to the Joint Session of Congress. As New Hampshire helped end the Russo-Japanese War in 1905 with the Portsmouth Peace Treaty it was an honor to be part of another historical moment in our shared history,” said Sawako Gardner, Vice President of the Japan-America Society of NH.

Senator Shaheen recently returned from a bipartisan Congressional delegation visit to the Indo-Pacific, where she traveled to the Philippines, Vietnam, Japan and South Korea. In each country, the Senator met with foreign government officials and U.S. military leadership to discuss U.S. security goals and opportunities for expanded trade and economic partnership. While in Japan, Shaheen highlighted the work the New Hampshire National Guard is doing to develop a training syllabus for Japan following its recent acquisition of the KC-46 refueling tanker. Senator Shaheen was joined by U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Roger Marshall (R-KS) and Representative Adriano Espaillat (D-NY). Photos from these visits can be found here.