Richard Nixon photo

Remarks of Welcome to Emperor Hirohito of Japan at Anchorage, Alaska

September 26, 1971

Your Imperial Majesties, our honored guests:

I am deeply honored, Your Imperial Majesties, on behalf of all the people of the United States, to welcome you to our country.

As you departed from Tokyo just a few hours ago, you received a magnificent farewell tribute from the people of Japan. Tonight, the American people are proud to join in that tribute to Your Majesties.

Just 50 years ago, Your Majesty became the first Crown Prince of Japan to travel to a foreign country. Tonight Your Majesty becomes the first reigning monarch of Japan in your long history to step on foreign soil.

Your journey symbolizes Japan's growing position in world affairs. We meet in Anchorage, Alaska, a place which is approximately the same distance between Tokyo and Washington, D.C. And this fact reminds us that for the past quarter century that we have built a structure of political, economic, and cultural ties which spans the space between our two countries. And may this historic meeting, the first meeting in history between the Emperor of Japan and the President of the United States, demonstrate for all the years to come the determination of our two great peoples to work together in friendship for peace and prosperity for the Pacific and for all people in the world.

Your Majesties, we are most proud and happy to have you on American soil and, as you go on your journey, our thoughts and our prayers go with you.

Note: The President spoke at 10: 12 p.m. at Elmendorf Air Force Base where Emperor Hirohito was given a formal welcome with full military honors.

The Emperor spoke in Japanese. His remarks were translated by an interpreter as follows:

Distinguished guests:

I thank you very much, Mr. President, for your cordial words of welcome. I am deeply moved by your presence here with Mrs. Nixon. You have come over a long way to meet us personally on the occasion of our stopover here on our way to seven European countries.

When you are so pressed with matters of state, I highly appreciate it as a manifestation of your very special good will and interest for the Japanese people and ourselves. Together with the Japanese people, I constantly raise to heart that all the Presidents of the United States, and her Government and people, have given us unstinted assistance, materially and morally, after the end of the war, in the restoration and building up of our country. I take this opportunity to express my most sincere gratitude for it.

I have no doubt whatever that the friendly relations between our two countries, cultivated during the past quarter of a century, will be increasingly strengthened by close contact and cooperation between our Governments and peoples.

I thank you again, Mr. President, for your kindness and extend my best wishes for the prosperity of the United States of America.
Thank you.

Richard Nixon, Remarks of Welcome to Emperor Hirohito of Japan at Anchorage, Alaska Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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