I AM HAPPY to extend to each one of you--on behalf of all the American people-our welcome to the United States, and a warm welcome to the White House.
The mutual visits which the Governors of Japan and the Governors of the United States have been making for the past 3 years are, I think, a great benefit to our countries.
Much has been made of the great differences between our countries--differences of culture, religion, and geography. But I am struck by our similarities.
Our two countries are among the world's most active and vital and prosperous. And we are among the most deeply involved in world affairs.
Both of us face the problems of success: challenges of growth, of rising affluence, of social and political change.
In a turbulent world, the answers which our countries find to those problems will have influence far beyond our borders.
That is why I am grateful for the mutual understanding and the common progress which result from your contacts with our Governors--and theirs with you.
You are advancing the noblest cause of all--the cause of peace.
In meeting the problem of urban growth, for instance, I am struck by how our approaches coincide.
Both Japan and America have experienced explosive urban growth. Two-thirds of our people now live in cities. Coping with this explosion tests not only our technology, but the very power of democracy to govern creatively and effectively.
Our responses are remarkably similar. Both of us cherish the principle of local initiative, local action.
And we have a great deal to learn from each other.
We are already learning from Japan about the development of high-speed railways. When we see the Tokyo-Osaka express train streaking along at 125 miles an hour we dream of the day when trains on our Eastern Seaboard will move as fast.
And, at a time when mass urban transit is a major national issue in the United States, we are studying your suburban rail systems.
In this and other fields, the exchange of ideas can be a way to better understanding between our people. We believe it leads to eventual peace and progress all over the world.
I hope that there are developments in our country which will be useful to you in Japan.
Our country is facing great new problems-and establishing great new programs. As a result, our Federal system is being challenged.
We believe that we will meet that challenge. Right now, we are establishing better communication, better cooperation, better understanding between our States and the Federal Government.
On your visit, you can see that happening. I hope it gives you some ideas to take home.
I am glad to observe that you are having lunch today with our friends in the Congress.
Gentlemen, you do us honor by your visit.
I salute you--and I salute the National Governors' Conference for its part in this venture of understanding.