Ambassador Baker Offers July 4 Greetings

Ambassador Howard H. Baker, Jr.
July 4, 2004

On this Fourth of July holiday, the 228th birthday of the United States of America, I am grateful to have this opportunity to extend my warmest wishes to my fellow Americans residing in Japan and to our most gracious hosts, the Japanese people.

On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence, which clearly and eloquently asserts that "all men are created equal." It is on Independence Day that we Americans remember the efforts of the courageous, passionate and visionary founding fathers, who risked their lives and fortunes for freedom and dedicated themselves to the dream of democracy. We pause to recall how lucky we are to share in the promises of democracy and freedom, and to remember that freedom is never free.

Harsh challenges still exist for the ideal of democracy and the framework of freedom in other parts of the world. In the face of these challenges, America remains committed to the concept of government power derived solely from the consent of the governed, and we thank Japan for consistently standing with us in the pursuit of this noble cause.

Today, no ally stands firmer than the great nation of Japan. America and Japan are great world powers, joined by a common commitment to democracy and freedom, and engaged in joint endeavors to promote the blessings of liberty around the world, advance global prosperity, push back the frontiers of human knowledge, and fight the threat of international terrorism. Both our nations, and indeed the entire globe, are stronger and richer for our tried-and-true friendship.

I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as Ambassador to Japan, and am delighted to share America's birthday with my fellow Americans and with all our Japanese friends. May we all have a safe and happy Independence Day.