Richard Nixon photo

Remarks on Arrival at Honolulu

August 30, 1972

Governor and Mrs. Burns, Senator and Mrs. Fong, Congressman Matsunaga and Mayor Fasi, Admiral McCain, and all of our very distinguished and fine guests here in Hawaii:

Over the past 25 years, my wife and I have received welcomes in 80 countries and 50 States, but every time we come to Hawaii we say there is nothing like a welcome in Hawaii, and we are most grateful for the warm reception we have received.

I appreciate your signs. I see "Nixon No Ka Oi." [Nixon is the best.] I know what it means.

Governor Burns has very eloquently described the purpose of our visit. Because the rain is coming down a bit, I will not take much of your time. I would like very simply to tell you what this State means ;o America and what this visit can mean to America and to the world.

We go back to the year 1969, which was the first year that I had the privilege of coming to Hawaii after being elected to the Presidency. That was the time that we went on to Midway and began the reduction of forces in Vietnam which has brought 500,000 Americans home and which has moved toward the peace with honor that all Americans want, there and throughout the world.

Then we were here again at the time of the Apollo 13 flight, when we welcomed back brave men who hadn't succeeded but who came back, and it was one of those epics in American bravery which all of us wanted to pay tribute to.

Then, as Governor Burns has indicated, it was February of this year that we stopped in Hawaii. We were here 2 days planning the trip to the People's Republic of China, which opened a dialogue between the most populous nation in the world and the United States of America, a dialogue that is essential if all of these wonderful young people we see here--the real young ones--are going to grow up in a world of peace. We cannot have a world of peace and have a fourth of the world's people outside of any communication with the United States and other nations.

And now, we come for another purpose. We come not to meet with those who have been our adversaries in recent times. We come to meet with those who have been very close friends of the United States going back over the past 20 years, and I refer to the Prime Minister of Japan and his official party.

This is a working visit. We shall discuss many problems, particularly problems of trade, and problems of cooperation. But what this visit signifies more than anything else, coming as it does in Hawaii, is how much the world has changed--and changed for the better--not only over the last 4 years to which I referred, but over the last 25 years. It was here just 26 [31] years ago that war in the Pacific began, and now here in Hawaii the Prime Minister of Japan, the President of the United States meet for the purpose of building a structure of peace in the Pacific. Because without peace and cooperation and friendship between the people of Japan and the people of the United States, there cannot be peace in the Pacific and there cannot be peace in the world.

We value that friendship, and we know that these meetings will contribute to it.

Let me say that you here in Hawaii have set a magnificent example of what that friendship can mean. Governor Burns has referred to the fact that so many people of Japanese background live here, and other backgrounds as well.

Let me say in that connection what you have demonstrated here as to how people of different backgrounds can work together, can create together, can live together, that is what we need to demonstrate in the world so that we can have that world of peace that we want not only for ourselves, but for all the children of the world.

We are delighted to be here and meeting here in Hawaii. I think with this nice rain falling this means a good omen for this trip. It will produce certainly good news for the United States, good news, we trust, also for Japan, but more important, good news for all the people of the world interested in peace.

Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 4:37 p.m. at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. He spoke without referring to notes.

John A. Burns was Governor of Hawaii, Hiram L. Fong was United States Senator, and Spark M. Matsunaga was United States Representative. Frank F. Fasi was mayor of Honolulu. Adm. John S. McCain, Jr., USN, was Commander in Chief, Pacific.

Richard Nixon, Remarks on Arrival at Honolulu Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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