TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida departed for Washington on Monday, marking Japan's first leader to undertake a state visit to the United States (US) in nine years -- a move that underscores the increasing importance of the alliance between the two countries.

During his stay in the US, Kishida is scheduled to hold a summit with US President Joe Biden on Wednesday in Washington and will address a joint session of the US Congress the following day, Kyodo News Agency quoted Japanese government officials.

Kishida, who is slated to return to Tokyo on Sunday, is expected to reaffirm with Biden the significance of Japan-US cooperation in various areas ranging from security and state-of-the-art technologies to the strengthening of supply chains, the officials said.

“I would like to confirm that Japan and the US have built a more solid relationship, and it will be an important opportunity to convey this message to the world,“ Kishida told reporters before he departed from Tokyo.

Kishida has expressed that his state visit to the US will help bolster the bilateral alliance, and he is to become Japan's first prime minister to deliver a speech at the US Congress since Shinzo Abe, who did so in April 2015.