Prime Minister Fumio Kishida hailed his weeklong visit to the U.S. as a diplomatic win, brushing off questions about the possibility of calling an early election amid turmoil in his party over a political funds scandal.

Kishida said in a news conference broadcast live Friday in North Carolina that his state visit to Washington — the first by a Japanese leader since 2015 — had allowed him to highlight Japan’s growing role in its alliance with the United States.

"I feel I was able to convey that message to the U.S. Congress, the American people and the world,” he said.