Ambassador John Roos: Statement on his Arrival in Japan

August 19, 2009

Narita Airport

(As prepared for delivery)

Thank you very much for the warm welcome.

Shortly before coming to Japan, I met with President Obama at the White House. In his remarks to the press, he spoke of "the extraordinarily close relationship" between the U.S. and Japan, calling it "one of the cornerstones of both our security and economic well being."

President Obama also addressed the need for close collaboration between nations in his inaugural speech, noting that we live in challenging times that "demand even greater effort, even greater cooperation and understanding between nations." And this is particularly true when it comes to the United States and Japan, as the ties between our countries are unique.

Our nations have the two largest economies in the world. Together, we will help strengthen the global economy and find new ways to foster bilateral trade and investment.

Our nations are among the greatest democracies in the world. Together, we will promote security, stability, and democratic values throughout Asia and, indeed, the rest of the world.

Our nations are two of the most innovative in the world. Together, we will address complex, pressing issues such as climate change, pandemic diseases, and energy security.

Our nations have forged one of the most successful alliances in history. Next year, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security. Together, we will strengthen and expand that alliance, so that 50 years from now, our nations will have even stronger political ties and richer cultural exchanges to celebrate.

I come from Silicon Valley in California, where nothing is impossible to accomplish and the future is now. Japan embodies that same bold spirit. Together, there is nothing we cannot accomplish.

I am deeply honored to be the U.S. Ambassador to the great nation of Japan. I look forward to traveling this beautiful country widely, meeting as many of you as I can, learning from you, and furthering the mutual goals and interests of our two nations. And on a personal level, my family and I very much look forward to making this country our home in the coming years.

Thank you again for your warm welcome.