Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday invited Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to speak to lawmakers next month, making him the first Japanese leader in history to address a joint session of Congress.
Abe's April 29 speech will come during his visit to Washington, when President Obama will hold a formal state dinner in his honor. The leaders are expected to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.
Abe's "address will provide an opportunity for the American people to hear from one of our closest allies about ways we can expand our cooperation on economic and security priorities," Boehner said in a statement. "That, of course, includes working together to open markets and encourage more economic growth through free trade."