From the Editor

Editor David M. Marks

Editor David M. Marks

Dear readers,

As I’m sure you all know, Democratic Senator Barack Obama defeated Republican Senator John McCain in the November 2008 election and was inaugurated as President of the United States on January 20. The election of our first African-American President is a watershed for the country, and I think all Americans - whether they voted for Obama or not - can take great pride in the progress that has been made in breaking down racial barriers.

For this issue of American View, we are pleased to present a special publication created by the Department of State Bureau of International Information Programs on "Barack Obama - 44th President of the United States." The first section looks at President Obama's unique life story and how he rose to the pinnacle of political power. The second section presents Obama's vision for the future, as told in his own words. The issue is rounded out with profiles of Obama’s family and of his Vice President Joseph Biden.

Since the results of the election came in, there has been a great deal of speculation in Japan about what an Obama administration will mean for our bilateral relationship, with some pundits voicing fears that there could be a rekindling of trade friction or "Japan passing." While every new administration in the United States or in Japan will have its own priorities and ideas as to how to address them, the United States under President Obama will continue to look to Japan, as a leading member of the international community, to play an important role in tackling the many problems that all of us face today.

I hope that this issue gives our American View readers a warm and thoughtful introduction to our new President and Vice President.