DeSantis Welcomes Japanese Delegation, Slams China for ‘Aggression and Belligerence’

November 18, 2022 Updated 3:03 PM ET

Gov. Ron DeSantis hosts the 44th annual Southeastern United States-Japan meeting, Nov. 18, 2022.
Gov. Ron DeSantis hosts the 44th annual Southeastern United States-Japan meeting, Nov. 18, 2022.

ORLANDO (FLV) – Gov. Ron DeSantis hosted the 44th annual Southeastern United States-Japan meeting, thanking the Japanese for their partnership with Florida. Japan is Florida’s third largest bilateral trade partner.

DeSantis brought up troubles faced involving the Chinese Communist Party, which his office said “continues to demonstrate aggression and belligerence to other nations in East Asia and the Pacific.”

“The number one challenge that free people have to deal with is the rise of China and the Chinese Communist Party. And, if you look at those threats, there’s no way those can be managed without a strong Japan and a strong United States relationship,” the governor said at the meeting. “Japan is what’s right about the Asian-Pacific.”

DeSantis expressed condolences for the death of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and emphasized his yearning to understand issues facing their region.

The Sunshine State governor touted great migration to Florida, which he referred to as Americans “voting with their feet.”

“It’s really accelerated over the last few years, particularly in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We saw too many states in our country lock people down, grind them down, keep kids out of school,” he said.

“It was great to host the 44th annual Southeastern United States-Japan meeting. Japan is Florida’s 3rd largest trade partner & we look forward to further expanding our economic ties,” DeSantis tweeted. “Thank you to the Japanese delegation for visiting Florida & supporting our growing partnership.”

Annually, trade between the two countries surpasses $7.7 billion in value. Florida has over 200 Japanese firms that continue to invest billions in the state’s economy, and the governor wants the partnership to grow further. He floated the potential of direct flights between Japan and Florida.

“If you got interest in investing here, let us know, we’ll make it worth your while,” the governor said.

In September, DeSantis signed legislation combatting the CCP’s influence in the state.

He announced a plan to ban foreign adversaries like China to buy land and military bases in Florida.

“The last thing we want to see is the CCP getting their mitts onto people’s personal information,” DeSantis said. “This will prevent the exposure of Floridians’ personal information and technology systems in Florida to foreign entities and bad actors.”

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