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On April 29, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will address a joint session of the United States Congress. The Japan-U.S. alliance is now 63 years old, but this will be the first time that a Japanese leader will be accorded this high honor from the American government and people.

Abe’s visit to the U.S. comes at a time when friction between the two countries is at an all-time low. The trade and economic disputes that incited tensions — and a sub-genre of paranoid movies about Japan — in the 1980s, when nine members of Congress even smashed a Toshiba radio with sledgehammers, rarely make an appearance nowadays.

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