Florida governor Ron DeSantis is in Japan to meet Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and other officials as part of his four-nation trade mission – seen by many as an attempt by the expected Republican presidential candidate to improve his diplomatic profile.
During their meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr Kishida told Mr DeSantis that reinforcement of Japanese-US ties is key to ensuring the peace, stability and prosperity of the international society.
The two also exchanged views on regional issues, according to a Japanese foreign ministry statement.
He has already been meeting with Republican officials and aggressively touring battleground states in the US.
Mr DeSantis’ trip, announced on Thursday, also includes South Korea, Israel and the United Kingdom. He said the move is aimed at strengthening economic relationships and demonstrating Florida’s position as an economic leader.
Mr Kishida welcomed Mr DeSantis’ first trip to Japan and expressed his expectations that the visit will contribute to further strengthening of Japan’s relationship with the United States as well as Florida, the foreign ministry said.
He is also expected to meet with South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo and British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.
The Republican is set to deliver a keynote address April 27 in Israel at an event marking the 75th anniversary of the founding of Israel.
Mr DeSantis is accompanied by state officials and his wife, Casey DeSantis.