Hirono Attends State Dinner, Serves on Escort Committee for Abe

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Sen. Mazie Hirono tweeted this photo of her shaking hands with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who became the first Japanese premier to address a joint session of Congress.

Sen. Mazie Hirono tweeted this photo of her shaking hands with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who became the first Japanese premier to address a joint session of Congress. She called his speech “a testament to the strong relationship between our two countries.”

WASHINGTON – Last week during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s official visit to the U.S. and Japan’s Golden Week, Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) participated in several key events to highlight the important alliance spanning seven decades between the U.S. and Japan.

On April 28, Hirono attended the state dinner for Abe at the White House hosted by President Obama and the first lady. On Wednesday, Hirono served on the escort committee for Abe’s address to a joint meeting of Congress. Escort committee members have the privilege of leading the prime minister into the House chamber.

“Japan is one of our closest allies and at a time when we have so much instability elsewhere in the world, it is important to maintain stability in the Asia-Pacific,” said Hirono. “In our ongoing focus on the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific, we must continue to strengthen our relationship with Japan.

“I was born in Japan and lived there until I was nearly eight years old. It is an honor to attend tonight’s state dinner and serve on the escort committee for Prime Minister Abe’s address. Our countries have much to offer one another and we must focus on continuing our enduring relationship and strengthening that relationship to meet our shared challenges.”

Hirono, the first Asian American woman elected to the Senate, was born in Fukushima in 1947. She currently serves as co-chair of the Congressional Study Group on Japan.

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