Remarks at the America-Japan Society New Year's Reception

Ms. Susie Roos
Ambassador's Residence
Tokyo, Japan

January 12, 2010

Left to right: Ms. Susie Roos, Chargé d’Affaires James P. Zumwalt, Ambassador Yoshio Okawara and Mrs. Mitsuko Okawara

No, I'm not John Roos. But on his behalf I want to welcome Ambassador Okawara, distinguished guests and members of the America-Japan Society.

John really wanted to be here, but as Mr. Watanabe mentioned, he is in Hawaii with Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Okada working hard on our bilateral relationship.

So it is my pleasure to welcome you and to celebrate the beginning of 2010 - the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty. Before I came to Japan - when John started as the 15th postwar Ambassador in August - I had heard that our two countries were more than just allies - we were friends. And I have to say our experience has really proven that to be the case.

Our whole family has been welcomed everywhere we go - as true friends. We have been impressed by the beauty of the shrines and gardens in Kyoto; by the wonderful crafts and awed by the Peace Memorial in Okinawa, and as many of you know, I just love the okonomiyaki in Osaka. We just returned from a week of fabulous powder snow in Hokkaido. I could go on and on, but suffice it to say, you have an amazing country and we have already made amazing friendships.

Understanding and appreciating our mutual cultures is at the foundation of true friendship and alliance. And that is why our two countries' alliance will be as strong in the next 50 years as it has been in the last 50 years.

On behalf of John, myself and everyone who works to strengthen our two countries' relationship, I want to thank the America-Japan Society for its hard work and commitment to this relationship. We look forward to many happy years in Japan.