TOKYO – Earlier this week, Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Finance Committees, and Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, were in Tokyo, where they met with senior officials to reinforce the importance of the U.S.-Japan alliance and discuss ways to advanced shared interests and values.
The Senators met with U.S. Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty and members of the Diet, Japan’s parliament, to discuss ways to strengthen and deepen the partnership between the U.S. and Japan. They were briefed by Lieutenant General Kevin Schneider, Commander, U.S. Forces Japan, about the role of U.S. troops in Japan and U.S. military strategy in the Indo-Pacific. They also met with senior Japanese government officials including National Security Advisor Shotaro Yachi, Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya, Foreign Minister Taro Kono, and Minister of Finance Taro Aso. The two Senators also met with senior Japanese business officials from Keidanren, a top Japanese business association.
“We have come here not only to learn, but to reinforce that our relationship and alliance with Japan is the bedrock of our alliance in this region -- it is the bedrock of stability in this region, and we just want to make sure that we are poised to partner with Japan as we move forward to continue not only the alliance, but to meet the challenges in this region, always recognizing that as allies, we can be much more effective together,” said Senator Hassan.
“I do think that the relationship between the United States and Japan is rooted not just in shared economic and security interests, but is rooted in core shared values. We value a free press, we value elections, which just happened here…We value human rights, we value the rule of law. These are defining characteristics of our political systems, and those are not common values that we share with the People's Republic of China. And so, if Japan is in a bridge relationship, a positive relationship with China, that may well help the United States and China also reach a more positive relationship,” said Senator Coons.
Senators Hassan and Coons with Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya
Senators Hassan and Coons with Foreign Minister Taro Kono
(From left to right) Senator Hassan, Senator Coons, Lieutenant General Kevin Schneider, Commander, U.S. Forces Japan, and Brigadier General Todd Dozier
Senators Hassan and Coons at the Ambassador’s residence with U.S. Ambassador to Japan William Hagerty (second from right) and Japanese legislators