Gov. Ron DeSantis met Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo — where he showed off his glamorous wife, Casey — and touted his country’s efforts to strengthen its military, declaring Monday that a “strong Japan is good for America.”
Japan last year rolled out a five-year, $315 billion military expansion as a safeguard against China’s growing power and as North Korea intensifies its missile launches.
“We very much applaud your efforts to bolster your defenses,” the Florida governor told Kishida. “We understand it’s a tough neighborhood out here … and we really believe that a strong Japan is good for America, and a strong America is good for Japan.”
DeSantis, who is expected to officially announce his run for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, traveled to Japan as part of a four-country trade mission, with planned stops in South Korea, Israel and the UK.
Florida’s first lady, who is accompanying her husband on the trip, put her fashion sense on full display in Japan, donning a peplum-enhanced white suit with a bold floral print for her daytime look, followed by a powder-blue evening gown featuring a dramatic cape and bedazzled epaulets.
In his talks with Kishida, DeSantis enthusiastically touted bilateral ties between the US and Japan as key to ensuring the peace, stability and prosperity of international society.
“We really appreciate what a great ally Japan has been to the US for many, many decades,” DeSantis told the prime minister at the start of their meeting in Tokyo.
DeSantis also met Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and spoke of how eager he was to see a deepening of economic relations between Japan and Florida.
“We believe Florida’s market is a great opportunity for additional investment from Japanese companies,” DeSantis said ahead of a working dinner with Hayashi, adding that he hoped to see more Japanese investment in Florida specifically.
“You are the number one foreign direct investment in America … which we appreciate, but you’re only number six in Florida, so I think we can make that go higher,” he said.