Why was Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, addressing a joint session of Congress to reassure the USA that Japan was rearming?
Farrell quotes the following from the article “The United States and Japan have not agreed on a handful of critical areas in the trade talks, including on agriculture and automobiles. But Abe said he hoped to use his address to help prod his own parliament to support overhauls that would pave the way for an agreement next month.”
In Speech To Congress, Abe Lays Out More Assertive Role For Japan
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hailed a new chapter in Japan’s “alliance of hope” with the United States on Wednesday as he sketched out his vision for a more robust role for his nation in the security and prosperity of Asia.
In a historic address to a joint meeting of Congress, Abe paid respects to shared history 70 years after the end of World War II, but he emphasized that it was time for Japan to turn the page and modernize its relationship. Tokyo, he told U.S. lawmakers, is “resolved to take yet more responsibility for the peace and stability in the world.”
“This reform is the first of its kind, and a sweeping one in our postwar history,” Abe added, referring to new laws he’s pushing through parliament that would allow Japan’s Self-Defense Forces to respond if the United States is attacked by a third country.
Abe’s appearance in Washington — accompanied by the pomp and circumstance of a state visit to the White House — was being closely monitored in Asia for signs of how the prime minister envisions his country’s resurgence in the face of China’s rising influence. The two powers have sought to build stronger economic ties, but they also have clashed in a series of maritime disputes, along with other countries in the region.
Abe, whose grandfather also served as prime minister more than half a century ago, became the first Japanese leader to address a joint meeting on Capitol Hill. He hoped to use the address, along with stops in San Francisco and Los Angeles in the next two days, to build momentum for his ambitious restructuring of Japan’s military and economy. Continue reading . . .
SF Source Joseph Farrell