Visit to the White House by Mrs. KISHIDA Yuko, the Spouse of the Prime Minister (Summary)

April 17, 2023
[Provisional translation]

On April 18 (April 17 local time), Mrs. KISHIDA Yuko, the spouse of the Prime Minister of Japan, visited the White House for approximately 2 hours at the invitation of Dr. Jill Biden, the First Lady of the U.S., and had a meeting, lunch, and planted a cherry tree with First Lady Dr. Biden. The overview of the visit is as follows.

1. The meeting was held over tea made by Mrs. Kishida. At the outset, Mrs. Kishida expressed her gratitude for the warm welcome and hospitality Prime Minister Kishida received from President Biden during his visit to the U.S. in January. She also stated that she was pleased to deepen her friendship with First Lady Dr. Biden during this visit.

2. Mrs. Kishida stated that it was a great honor to have the opportunity to offer a tea ceremony to President Biden preceding the informal dinner held upon his visit to Japan last May. Mrs. Kishida explained the idea of “Ichigo-Ichie”, which means to treasure each encounter, and expressed her delight in have tea together with First Lady Dr. Biden today. They shared the recognition that the current relationship between Japan and the U.S. are in a splendid state right now.

3. Mrs. Kishida stated that the National Cherry Blossom Festival is the largest cultural event in Washington, D.C. which celebrates the arrival of spring and the friendship between Japan and the U.S., and that it is a great pleasure that this festival, which has a strong connection with Japan, is loved by many U.S. citizens. She also expressed her hope that exchanges between the two countries will further flourish through the festival. They concurred to work on further deepening the friendship and goodwill between Japan and the U.S., which have been fostered in various fields.

4. Mrs. Kishida was also given a tour of the White House by First Lady Dr. Biden.

5. First Lady Dr. Biden hosted lunch for Mrs. Kishida with the attendance of women from both countries who are playing an active role in the U.S. They exchanged opinions on women's empowerment in Japan and the U.S., including the success of Japanese and American women in the U.S. They also shared their recognition that it is important to further promote women's empowerment in both countries.

6. After the lunch, Mrs. Kishida, guided by First Lady Dr. Biden, visited the Oval Office and exchanged a few words with President Biden.

7. Afterwards, Mrs. Kishida and First Lady Dr. Biden planted a cherry tree in the White House garden and wished that Japan-U.S. relations would grow and develop as strongly as the cherry tree.

8. At the end of the meeting, Mrs. Kishida expressed her hope that she and Prime Minister Kishida would welcome President Biden and First Lady Dr. Biden to the G7 Summit in Hiroshima in May.

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