Japan Now: Inauguration Special Edition
With Inauguration festivities earlier last month, attended by Ambassador Sasae and Deputy Chief of Mission Oike, the Trump Administration has officially begun, and the Japanese Government and the Embassy of Japan are welcoming and working with their new counterparts to continue the work of building the strong Japan-US relationship.
Prime Minister Abe and President Trump have already met once since the election, in an unofficial visit in November which was the first meeting between the then President-Elect and a foreign head of state. After that meeting, Prime Minister Abe said that he felt Japan and the US could maintain a “relationship of trust” during the Trump Administration.
In his message of congratulations to President Trump on Inauguration Day, Prime Minister Abe said that he was looking forward to further opportunities to work together “to ensure peace and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and to address various challenges the international community faces.”
In this message, Prime Minister Abe also discussed the challenges facing both countries:
“In the 21st Century, while the Asia-Pacific region is the source of the global economic growth, the security environment of the region is becoming severer. The Japan-U.S. Alliance, bound in universal values such as freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, is playing even greater role. The Japan-U.S. Alliance is the linchpin of Japan’s foreign and security policies. I would like to further strengthen the unwavering tie between Japan and the United States based on the relationship of trust between us the two leaders.”
Joining diplomats from many other countries, Ambassador Sasae and Deputy Chief of Mission Oike attended the Inauguration Ceremony, experiencing firsthand the energy and excitement of the assembled crowd. “There really isn’t an equivalent event in Japan” said DCM Oike, “so it was an honor to participate in this celebration of America’s tradition of Democracy.”
Ambassador Sasae came away from the event inspired to strengthen efforts to build the Japan-US relationship, and said that the announcement that Secretary of Defense Mattis will be visiting Japan this week during his first overseas visit “highlights the importance to both countries of the military alliance.”
The confirmation of Rex Tillerson as US Secretary of State today adds another key individual related to the Japan-US relationship to the Trump Administration. In a statement, Foreign Minister Kishida congratulated Secretary Tillerson, and said that he was looking forward to working together to “further strengthen the unwavering tie between Japan and the United States.”
“The United States’ commitment is indispensable for the stability of the Asia-Pacific region, which is a driving force of the global economy. The Japan-U.S. Alliance is a cornerstone of peace and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region, and its importance is becoming even greater as the security environment of the region becomes severer, as discussed at the Senate confirmation hearing that you attended.”