Ambassador letter to community October 18, 2001

Dear Friends,

I want to share with you my thoughts on a topic at the heart of our lives: our security. I address this message to the American Embassy community in the fullest sense, to include all of us, of any nationality, who work in the Chancery, in our residences, in our posts in Naha, Fukuoka, Osaka-Kobe, Nagoya, Yokohama, and Sapporo, and our families and household members. We are a vibrant and diverse community, united by the common purpose of building international ties. Ensuring the safety and welfare of every one of us is my foremost priority.

These are stressful times, and all of us have felt uneasy amidst the September 11 terrorist attacks and the subsequent spread of anthrax assaults. In these circumstances, we have to take steps to protect ourselves. The Embassy and constituent posts have taken a number of precautions to enhance security, and we must be prepared to adjust further if circumstances change. On our behalf the Japanese police have also increased their protective presence, which is the right thing to do. You have my pledge that when there is a suspicious incident, or specific threat information, the Embassy will promptly disseminate what we know and take whatever actions are necessary for the safety of all of us.

I ask that every member of this community press on with your life - not only your work responsibilities but your family goals, your faith, the pleasures of your friendships and everything else that is important to you. At the same time, I greatly appreciate the alertness that you have exhibited and I count on you to continue to share any information or concerns in a responsible manner. I am extremely proud of the way our community has been living our lives while maintaining greater vigilance.

Let me say in closing that Nancy and I feel deeply honored to be part of this Embassy and to represent the United States of America. Together we will meet our challenges.

Very respectfully,


Howard H. Baker

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