Statement by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Japan's National Day

* This is a reformatted press release issued by the U.S. Department of State.

December 21, 2011

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States I am delighted to send best wishes to His Imperial Majesty on his 78th birthday this December 23rd, and I congratulate the people of Japan as you celebrate your national day.

Our two countries share a strong and vibrant partnership, and over the past year, we have continued to strengthen this relationship. The aftermath of the March earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis revealed the resolve and fortitude of the Japanese people, and the close collaboration between our two countries. Your ability to emerge from this crisis to rebuild has been an inspiration around the world.

Even as Japan continues to work to strengthen your economic foundations, you have continued to play an integral role as a regional and global partner on a number of important issues. In Iraq, South Sudan and Afghanistan and other countries, you are helping people rebuild and strengthen democratic institutions. Around the world you are promoting human rights and giving more people the opportunity to realize their potential. We are grateful for your strong partnership on these and other issues and we look forward to continuing to work for a better future for both our countries.

As you celebrate this special day with family, friends and loved ones, know that the United States and the American people will continue to stand with you. I wish all Japanese people continued peace and prosperity in the year to come.