A Message to the American Community from Ambassador Howard H. Baker, Jr.

            By now we have all seen hundreds of times the images of the horrific attacks that occurred in the United States on September 11. We have been shocked, horrified, angry, confused and sad. We have wept for the innocent victims - people starting the day at work with a cup of coffee or a quick look at the newspaper, people flying to a meeting or a wedding or to a family gathering. We have tried to explain to ourselves and to our children how such terrible things could happen. We have supported our President as he promised to bring the perpetrators of these monstrous crimes and those who aided them to justice.

            Our lives will never be the same again. We Americans will never feel as secure again as we did on that peaceful Monday night before these awful events. But life does go on and it would be a poor tribute to those innocent thousands who died if we allowed their murderers to destroy the joy that we take in our lives, our work and our families.

            We are fortunate to be living in a country as safe and as well policed as Japan. The Embassy and the Bush Administration are in close touch with the Government of Japan, which has taken appropriate steps to increase the security of their country and our facilities. As the events of September 11th proved, there are no safe havens in the war against these criminals, but I am convinced that the Government of Japan is doing everything in its power to protect its own citizens as well as the foreigners who reside here in Japan. But these are difficult times and we need to be prudent and practice sensible precautions. The Embassy has issued several warden messages and the web site provides links to other sources of information. We will continue to keep you informed of the situation. 

            It is natural to be concerned. There are plenty of rumors that will alarm us. We should not respond to rumors but to the best information that is available. Traditional American traits of banding together in crisis, our innate common sense, and the help of our Japanese hosts is the best formula to confront the challenge posed by the unseen enemy who tests our will. I am confident that one day joy will return to our lives and our children will once again enjoy the benefits of being Americans. I know we will be the victors. 

Howard H. Baker, Jr. 

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