The newly inaugurated Japanese Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Tomita Koji, has sent a special message to the members of the America-Japan Society.
Ambassador Tomita’s Introductory Remarks to the America-Japan Society
I am Tomita Koji, Ambassador of Japan to the United States of America. My return to the United States coincides with the inauguration of the new Biden administration, and I am both honored and humbled by the weighty responsibility this entails.
Last year, Japan and the United States celebrated the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and the milestone of 60 years of the Japan-U.S. Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security. In the decades since the end of the war, the unwavering Japan-U.S. alliance has brought peace and prosperity to the region. At its foundation are grassroots exchanges nurtured by generations of Americans and Japanese. The America-Japan Society is a shining example of this.
In the more than 100 years since its founding in April 1917 and through myriad activities, the America-Japan Society has made great contributions to the development of Japan-U.S. relations. One recalls the grand commemorative ceremony celebrating these achievements held in the presence of Their Majesties the Emperor Emeritus and Empress Emerita in 2017. Indeed, Japan pays tribute to your long-standing efforts and passion.
Last November, former Prime Minister Abe was named Honorary President of the America-Japan Society. Under the Abe administration, the Japan-U.S. alliance was strengthened and the role played by Japan-U.S. relations in the international order grew. With the security environment around Japan becoming increasingly severe and uncertain due to issues such as North Korean nuclear and missile development and tensions in the East China Sea and South China Sea, strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance, which forms the cornerstone of Japan’s diplomacy and security, is of utmost importance. Under the new leadership of Prime Minister Suga and President Biden, I will spare no effort as Ambassador to the United States to further strengthen our bilateral relations.
Today, due to the spread of COVID-19, the international community is facing a time of trials. All manner of activities have been restricted, and even diplomatic work has been constrained. Especially under these conditions, we believe that it is in the national interests of both sides to continue private exchanges between the people of Japan and the United States. We are encouraged that the Japan-America Society and sister associations across Japan and the United States, as well as Japan Society, are making creative efforts to keep the bond between our two countries unbroken, and we will do our best to respond to your aspirations and enthusiasm.
I am looking forward to reuniting with all my American friends now seven and a half years after my last Washington assignment. Although the spread of COVID-19 in the United States has been particularly brutal, as much as possible, I want to travel throughout the country to share Japan’s perspective, Japan’s goodness, and the importance of the Japan-U.S. relationship. I am prepared to work my fingers to the bone to further strengthen Japan-U.S. relations. To this end, I humbly request everyone’s support and cooperation.
I want to conclude this message with my sincere wishes for your continued success and good health.