Secretary of State's Award for Distinguished Service presented to Councillor Motoo Shiina

Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage presented the Secretary of State's Award for Distinguished Service to Councillor Motoo Shiina at the Ambassador's Residence in Tokyo on June 9, 2003, with Ambassador Howard H. Baker, Jr. in attendance.

Following is the transcript of the presentation.

AMBASSADOR BAKER: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome. Welcome to all of you. My apologies that I have arrived just now and have not had an opportunity to visit with you, but old friends, new friends, you are all welcome. Councillor and Mrs. Shiina, honored guests, Secretary Armitage, ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted to welcome you all for this special occasion. Although this house has received many important visitors in its seventy-year history, I think perhaps there have never been so many impressive people, from all walks of life, who are assembled here today to do honor to our honoree.

It is a pleasure for me to welcome a very special friend, a very important person for my country, who renders noble service to our nation and to peace and stability throughout the world. I am speaking of Deputy Secretary Armitage. Welcome Rich. He needs no introduction from me. He is known to many of you, perhaps most of you, for his friendship and his official functions over the years. But let me say one thing. He is here today for a very special reason. He has come on behalf of Secretary of State Colin Powell to present Councilor Mooto Shiina, a very good friend - not only for myself and Mrs. Baker but also the United States - with the Secretary of State's award for Distinguished Service. Mrs. Baker is not here today. She will be returning from the States on Wednesday. She regrets that she cannot be here to express her appreciation to her friends on this great occasion.

My friends, this award is one of the highest awards bestowed by the Department of State. It is particularly fitting that Councilor Shiina is the first Japanese ever to receive this award. I know that Deputy Secretary Armitage has more that he wants to say on this subject. So without further ado, may I turn the platform over to the Deputy Secretary. Rich?

DEPUTY SECRETARY ARMITAGE: Ambassador Baker, thank you very much. Prime Minister Miyazawa, Prime Minister Kaifu, Prime Minister Hata, Foreign Minister Kawaguchi, Diet members, admirals and generals, ladies and gentlemen, all of us united here for one reason: We all have enormous respect for Shiina-sensei. For me, I have had many memorable occasions in Japan since I first came here in 1967 as a young Naval officer, but there is no more memorable event than the one that I am about to participate in this evening. For me to be able to present this award, on behalf of Secretary Powell and the Department of State, represents in a way a culmination - a full journey. As Ambassador Baker mentioned, this is the highest award that the Secretary of State can award. It has never been awarded to a Japanese citizen and has only one other time in history been awarded to a non-American. This award is not presented to Senator Shiina because he has many friends in America, though he certainly does. This award in not presented for what Senator Shiina has does for the United States, but in truth he has done a lot. This award is presented to a Japanese patriot who served his country in the finest way he could. This is a man who felt to his bones that peace and stability in Northeast Asia - and indeed the world - would best be served by the Japan-U.S. alliance. He didn't hold these views as a favor to the United States; he held these views because he felt they were in the best interest of Japan - this nation, these people.

Now look what's happening in Japan. We see the efforts of the Koizumi administration, the efforts of Foreign Minister Kawaguchi, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe, and Chief Cabinet Secretary Fukuda, bringing this nation fully into a position to play every position on the field - to be fully engaged in all the great events of our time. I believe in a very real way that that's a culmination of what you've been trying to do, Senator Shiina, for your professional career. Now along the way, many of us Americans have learned some life lessons from Mr. Shiina. We've learned to be consistent. We've learned to be true to our principles. We've learned to be truthful in our dealings. We've learned to hold ideas that are bigger and better than ourselves. All of these Shiina-sensei has taught to many of his American friends. So I say to you that nothing in my personal or professional life has given me more personal pleasure nor greater honor than to be able on behalf of Secretary of State Powell to present this award tonight to Senator Shiina. I am going to do this following the American custom. In a moment I am going to call the audience to attention, and I'll ask Mr. Patterson to read the citation. Attention to orders! Mr. Patterson, will you read the citation.

MR. PATTERSON: Department of State, United States of America. The Secretary's Distinguished Service Award - Mooto Shiina. For exemplary service over many years in working to strengthen the U.S.-Japan security relationship and foster better understanding between the United States and Japan on the full range of bilateral and international issues linking the people of both countries - April 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell.

COUNCILLOR MOTOO SHIINA: I am very much honored by this prestigious award and nice comments you just made. Thank you very much, Ambassador Baker and Deputy Secretary Armitage. I would be very happy if you could convey my cordial appreciation to Secretary Powell as well. I was informed of this recognition only on May the 30th. It was "water poured into my ears during sleep" in the Japanese expression and "a thunder bolt from the blue sky" in the English expression. I have contributed somewhat to the U.S.-Japan relationship; if that was the case, it was simply because there are people who gave me stages where I could carry out my work and the people who worked with me on those stages. Many of them are here today. I would like to express my appreciation to you, Ambassador Baker, for inviting them to this occasion and to all of you who were kind enough to find time to come here tonight.

If I recall, my contact with the United States began in 1959 when I was there for a year as a nuclear reactor student. My wife, who is here with me today, and I bought a second-hand car and drove around everywhere in the United States. We met so many people. I felt keenly what I would call the enthusiasm the Americans had for candor and fairness. I really enjoyed my entire stay in the United States because as long as I acted candidly and fairly, Americans treated me in exactly the same manner. This experience rooted in my heart as my basic view of the United States and it has changed little since then, when I started to work for the Japanese government later and today.

I was in the United States in 1960 when the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty was revised. When I think about the huge ruckus at the time and about passage of the National Emergency Laws last week, I am simply and deeply struck with the changes time has brought forth. I cherish the relationship the U.S. and Japan enjoy now which is the best in the post-war period. Through extensive contacts between the two countries, I believe obsequiousness and arrogance have been eliminated on both sides while candor and fairness certainly have been enhanced. I believe this has been reflected in the close friendship and trust our top leaders share today.

But, there is much more homework to be finished. I believe that it is obvious that we should be poised for situations in and around our own country. But we should not be satisfied in that realm only - avoiding our global responsibility. Our work aimed at global stability and prosperity is not so simple that we only try to knock down 'bad guys.' We have to do our best in order to integrate and involve the 'good guys' as well. By 'good guys,' I mean those people with good will - for example, idealists, who are dead-set against specific proposals for improving the world today because they say they are incomplete in the light of the ideals they hold; and those who believe governance and justice lies in execution of excessively detailed rules of regimes created for the time being and the restrictions we face today. There are infinite examples like that.

How we can coax those 'good guys' into effective mobilization? This is where the true caliber of responsible and powerful nations is measured: in setting agendas. Let me add, at the end of my comments on this occasion, that my dream is to advance the most important bilateral relationship in the world, bar none, to one step further to that of allies that can set agendas for the world. Thank you very much!