The Governor Of North Carolina Will Host A Historic Guest At His Home: Kishida, The Prime Minister Of Japan

The Governor Of North Carolina Will Host A Historic Guest At His Home: Kishida, The Prime Minister Of Japan

RALEIGH, North Carolina — After a few days in Washington, D.C., where he talked about worries about global security, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will go on a tour of North Carolina on Friday to talk about a different topic: his country’s status as the state’s biggest foreign investor.

The office of Gov. Roy Cooper says that Kishida, who has been Japan’s prime minister since 2021, will visit two Japanese companies and North Carolina State University after he gets here Thursday night. Kishida is going to have lunch at the governor’s house in the middle, which is a first for the Tar Heel State.

Cooper told reporters Thursday, “Well, this puts North Carolina on the world stage.” There is a lot at stake when the prime minister comes to North Carolina when he could have gone to any of the 50 states.

According to a rough translation on the website of the prime minister, Kishida said at a news conference before his trip that he decided to stop in North Carolina to show that the partnership between Japan and the U.S. goes beyond Washington.

For the first stop on the trip, Kishida and his group will go to Liberty to see a new Toyota Motor Corp. electric and hybrid battery plant and Greensboro to see the headquarters of Honda Aircraft Co.

A Japanese studies professor at the University of North Carolina Greensboro named Chiaki Takagi was surprised by the prime minister’s visit. She said it could mean a “positive future partnership” between Japan and the U.S. and more Japanese workers coming to the state.

Takagi said, “This whole thing will give people in the area chances to be a part of very active cultural exchange between Japan and the U.S.” “And it’s great to know Greensboro will be the spot.”

The governor’s office says that Japan is North Carolina’s main source of foreign direct investment. Cooper said that about 30,000 people from the state work for Japanese companies.

Fujifilm, one of these companies, said it would spend $1.2 billion in its biopharmaceutical manufacturing plant in the state just hours before Kishida arrived.

An official from the state Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, Michele Walker, said that the luncheon will be the first time since records began being kept in 1891 that a head of state from another country has visited the governor’s home.

On Wednesday, Kishida met with Vice President Joe Biden to talk about worries about China’s military and to officially reaffirm the alliance between the US and Japan. Kishida made the case for the U.S. to stay involved in global security in a joint speech to Congress on Thursday. He said that what China was doing was the “greatest strategic challenge” the world had ever faced. Beijing is very angry about what Kishida did during his stay.

Later Thursday, the U.S., Japan, and the Philippines held their first trilateral meeting at the White House to talk about how to deal with “intimidation” from China in the Indo-Pacific.

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