Florida governor Ron DeSantis arrives in Japan today, before visiting South Korea, Britain, and Israel. In Japan, DeSantis
Florida governor Ron DeSantis arrives in Japan today, before visiting South Korea, Britain, and Israel.
In Japan, DeSantis will meet with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to discuss the expansion of economic ties between Japan and Florida, building on meetings that took place during last year’s Southeastern United States – Japan Conference. Although the meetings have been presented as being primarily centered around economic relations between Florida and Japan– the sixth largest investor in the state and Florida’s seventh largest trade partner–it will also be an opportunity for DeSantis to develop diplomatic ties with key US allies ahead of elections set for 2024.
DeSantis’ characterization of Russia’s war in Ukraine as a “territorial dispute” received backlash from Republican lawmakers who believe that DeSantis’ inexperience with foreign policy is a major weak point for the presidential hopeful. Ahead of elections set for 2024, this trip will be an important step towards displaying foreign policy competence.
Both DeSantis and Trump share similar foreign policy positions, diverging from the traditional stances of the neocon wing of the Republican party. Upcoming elections will likely uncover distinctions between the two especially on funding for Ukraine and support for Taiwan, with DeSantis being expected to take tougher positions on China and Russia in order to garner more support from the Republican party.