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"I'll Keep My Speech Short": Japan PM Fumio Kishida Draws Laughter From White House Dinner Attendees

08:45 PM Apr 12, 2024 IST | 8PM News Desk
 i ll keep my speech short   japan pm fumio kishida draws laughter from white house dinner attendees
"I'll keep my speech short": Japan PM Fumio Kishida draws laughter from White House dinner attendees

Washington, DC [US] : Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida drew laughter from attendees at a state dinner held at the White House in Washington on Wednesday evening, Kyodo News reported.

He made self-deprecating jokes about his long speeches and divulged that it was hard to tell who the guest of honour was at the White House dinner.

"My wife, Yuko, ... just told me that it was hard to tell who the guest of honour is. I was relieved when I was shown the seat right next to the president," Kishida said at the event in the White House, drawing laughter from the crowd, as per Kyodo News.

"Before I came here, my protocol staff told me that no one had ever complained that my speech was too short. This is probably good advice. So, I'll keep my speech short," Kishida added.

Kishida is the first Japanese leader to visit the United States as a state guest in nine years and his visit comes as the approval ratings for his Cabinet have plunged to their lowest levels since he took office in October 2021, due largely to a political funds scandal that has significantly eroded public trust in his ruling Liberal Democratic Party, according to Kyodo News.

Kishida emphasised that they were working to elevate ties between Japan and the United States to even greater heights and then quoted the famous line from Star Trek, "To boldly go where no one has gone before," reported The Japan News.

"I like this line. I use it so many times that my staff tried to delete it," he said, also provoking laughter from the guests, including Japanese celebrities such as pop music duo Yoasobi and retired wheelchair tennis great Shingo Kunieda, Robert De Niro and Paul Simon, who performed a song.

"The Pacific Ocean does not separate Japan and the United States. Rather, it unites us," Kishida said, quoting the late US President John F Kennedy.

Further, in an official post on X, while emphasising Japan-US partnership, Kishida affirmed, "I delivered an address at the US Congress entitled "For the Future: Our Global Partnership.". With the international community now at a historic turning point, I focused on what kind of future & should seek to leave for the next."

"Generation and what our two countries should do to make that a reality. I advocated strongly for my future-oriented message, grounded in the experiences and knowledge I have garnered to date," Kishida added.

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