Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, traveled abroad for the first time since the year 2019 this week. The 44-year-old met with Fumio Kishida, the prime minister of Japan, in Tokyo last Monday to talk about the economy as he prepares for a potential presidential run.
According to The Washington Post, the journey was formally part of the “international trade mission” together with Enterprise Florida, a Florida economic development agency that seeks to strengthen relations between the Sunshine State and Israel, South Korea, Japan, and the United Kingdom.
In a news statement issued late last week, DeSantis said, “This trade mission will provide us another chance to strengthen our economic ties and continue to highlight Florida’s standing as an economic leader.”
Throughout the journey, DeSantis will travel to the other three countries.
DeSantis commended Japan’s efforts to strengthen its military during the conference in light of the growing dangers posed by communist China.
DeSantis added, “We greatly admire your efforts to strengthen your defenses. We realize North Korea and the emergence of the CCP makes this a challenging neighborhood, but we firmly think that both a strong America and a strong Japan are good for each other.”
DeSantis added that in order to stay up with new threats, the United States needs to increase its military spending. “There is much need for improvement on our end as well, he continued, if you look at our stockpiles and some of the events that have occurred in recent years.”
DeSantis told reporters after the meeting that he was a “big advocate” of the US-Japan alliance and that Japan had been “a heck of an ally for the United States.”
Following his comments with reporters, DeSantis posted on Twitter, “We had the honor of having a meeting with Kishida, the Prime Minister, to expand on discussions we began while attending the SEUS Japan Conference in Florida just last fall. We are looking forward to increasing ties between Florida and Japan.”