Remarks by the First Lady at a Spousal Program Event with Mrs. Kishida Yuko

April 10, 2024

[As prepared for delivery.]

As a writing teacher, one of my favorite places in any building is the library. So, it's an honor to be able to welcome Mrs. Kishida – Yuko – and all of you to this beautiful space of learning and discovery.

Because the ties that bind our nations are not just forged by heads of state. They're created people to people, heart to heart, as we share ideas and pieces of our culture that make our souls sing.

Last year, in Japan, Yuko and I met with incredible young people who were doing just that – looking toward the future – toward ways of doing good, not just for their communities, but for the world.

So, today, I've invited some amazing high school students here who are bringing our countries closer – studying Japanese, hosting Japanese students, and even traveling to Japan through cultural exchange programs.

And we're joined by Japanese American poet, Professor Kimiko Hahn, who, earlier this morning, led a poetry workshop at the White House with these students, focused on an ancient form of Japanese poetry. I'm excited to hear what you've created together.

Art shows the contours of our sorrows and joys, so that we know we aren't alone. It brings us back to the beauty and humanity in every moment.

That's the power of what you've done today.

With every line of poetry, you enter into a conversation with the world – helping us reach toward each other, so we can understand one another and imagine our bright tomorrows together.

You – like the young people we met in Japan – are the leaders of today and tomorrow. The keepers of our partnership. The dreamers of a better world.

And I can't wait to see what you do next.

Jill Biden, Remarks by the First Lady at a Spousal Program Event with Mrs. Kishida Yuko Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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