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 You are in: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice > What the Secretary Has Been Saying > 2005 Secretary Rice's Remarks > March 2005: Secretary Rice's Remarks

Remarks With Japanese Foreign Minister Machimura and Japanese Defense Agency Director General Ono at a U.S.-Japan Appreciation Event With Troops

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Iikura House
Tokyo, Japan
March 19, 2005

FOREIGN MINISTER MACHIMURA: I'd like to thank so many of you for gathering on this day: 75 members of USFJ and 75 members of the Self-Defense Forces and other civilians who engaged in assistance activities overseas.

Secretary Rice signs autograph at U.S.-Japan gathering. Tokyo, Japan, March 19, 2005. AP/Wide World Photo.

As the Foreign Minister of Japan, I should like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude and also my respect to all of you for having engaged in operations for international peace, and also in operations to bring relief to those suffering from the devastation of earthquakes and tsunami, in spite of all the danger involved.

We have with us today many members of the U.S. Forces Japan, and I should like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude on behalf of the entire Japanese nation that you, in this faraway land from your home country, have been making mighty efforts in the interest of peace and stability in Japan and elsewhere in the Far East, and also for making great efforts in areas outside Japan, in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan, for regional stability in those places as well, even putting your own lives at risk.

Japan and the United States, today, are an alliance in the interest of the world. In the meeting that I had with the Secretary of State just a moment ago, we reaffirmed our desire to contribute together to international development. Let me conclude my remarks by expressing my sincere hope that you will continue and redouble your efforts at the very forefront in the interests of international peace. Thank you very much.

DEFENSE AGENCY DIRECTOR GENERAL ONO: Ladies and Gentlemen, I am Yoshinori Ono, Defense Minister of Japan. We have with us, on the Japanese side, from the Defense Agency and SDF, from all those service members, as well as civilians, who have been serving in places such as Samawah, Iraq, in the Indian Ocean, and also in the disaster relief operations following the tsunami. And their efforts have been appreciated by the entire world in terms of their peacekeeping operations efforts, as well as disaster relief. Also from the U.S. side, we have many members of USFJ, starting with Lt. Gen. Bruce Wright, commander of USFJ and many other service members who have also been making great contributions in these respects.

And I think this is a great moment to have with us Secretary Rice from the United States to convey her words of encouragement and appreciation. In the discussions I had with Secretary Rice a moment ago, we spoke of global responsibility for the United States and Japan. We, I think, are really beyond partners in cooperation -- we really are engaged in joint work together in the interests of world peace and stability. I hope that the occasion we are having today will contribute to even greater international peace and stability.

Time given me today was only one minute, and I am a believer that speeches should be short. But I believe that Japan-U.S. relations should be eternal. I'd like to thank you for all your efforts. Thank you very much.

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you very much. First of all, let me say how wonderful it is to be here in Japan. Thank you, Minister Machimura, thank you Mr. Ono. I am really here to say thank you to all of you. I was in Japan first in 1986 -- I taught at the Defense Academy in Yokosuka for three weeks. It occurs to me that one of the aspects of aging is that there are probably cadets of the Self-Defense Forces who were perhaps not born when I taught there. But that only says that generation after generation will be devoted to U.S.-Japan friendship and alliance.

I said earlier in a speech that the 21st century will not be defined by raw power in the way that it was thought of in the 19th century and the early 20th century. But it will be defined by the power of ideas -- ideas like liberty and freedom and compassion. The work that you have done in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in the Indian Ocean and in helping the victims of the tsunami natural disaster is the finest example of exactly that -- that you, the members of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces of U.S. Forces Japan and the civilians who are here, have gone to these faraway places to give people a chance to live in freedom, to live in prosperity and to live free from fear.

More than 60 years ago…more than 50 years ago now…the United States and Japan found themselves together after a devastating war and the United States helped and supported the development of a democratic Japan. Now together, through our global responsibilities, we are supporting the development of democratic and prosperous states in places on the globe where democracy has never, ever taken root before.

Because of your work, because of your sacrifice, because of the compassion that you have shown, we will all be safer and more secure as democracy and liberty spread across the world. So, on behalf of the grateful nations of the United States and Japan, and on behalf of the grateful people whom you've helped, I would like to thank you for what you have done and for what you have yet to do.

Thank you.

2005/T4-18


Released on March 19, 2005

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