Richard Nixon photo

Remarks on the Departure of Prime Minister Sato of Japan From the White House

November 21, 1969

Mr. Prime Minister and Your Excellencies who are present here today:

There have been many meetings between the heads of government of Japan and the United States over the past 25 years. I am confident that history will record that this is the most significant meeting that has occurred since the end of World War II.

It is customary on such occasions to say that a new era begins in the relations between the two countries involved. I believe today, however, that there is no question that this is a statement of the fact that a new era begins between the United States and Japan, in our relations not only bilaterally in the Pacific but in the world.

As the joint communiqué which will be issued at 11:30 indicates, we have resolved the last major issue which came out of World War II, the Okinawa problem. And further, we have made significant progress in the resolution of other bilateral issues in the economic field, as well as in the field of investment and trade, not only between our two countries, but in the Asian area.

Mr. Prime Minister, I believe that as we stand here today that in the years ahead, our two Governments and our two peoples will work together toward that great goal which is contained in the slogan of the Expo 1970 in Osaka, "Harmony and Progress for all Mankind."

Note: The President spoke at 11:10 a.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House. See also Items 447, 449, and 453.

Prime Minister Eisaku Sato responded in Japanese through an interpreter, as follows:

I am leaving Washington this afternoon after having successfully completed 3 days of talks with President Nixon and other leaders of the United States Government.

It gave me the greatest pleasure to have been able to strengthen the ties of mutual trust and friendship between the United States and Japan in such an openhearted atmosphere as prevailed throughout our meetings.

Although we still face a number of difficult problems in the present international society, I firmly believe that the paths we have to tread will open up by themselves if we both continue our efforts with hope in the future and in the spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation.

In particular, it is an event of historic significance that an agreement has been reached on the reversion of Okinawa through our talks.

On my return to Japan, I am determined to make every possible effort to set up new relations between the United States and Japan, based on the accomplishments of this visit, which would also contribute toward the establishment of world peace.

As I take my leave, may I express to President and Mrs. Nixon, as well as to the Government and the people of the United States, my heartfelt gratitude for your warm solicitude and my best wishes for the good health and continued prosperity of you all.

Richard Nixon, Remarks on the Departure of Prime Minister Sato of Japan From the White House Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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