Richard Nixon photo

Remarks of Welcome to Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka of Japan at Honolulu

August 30, 1972

Mr. Prime Minister, and all of our distinguished guests from Japan:

In the word of welcome which is so famous not only here in Hawaii, but throughout the world, I say Aloha.

And, Mr. Prime Minister, I am very honored to welcome you not only in your official capacity for the first time, as Prime Minister, but also to welcome you again as a personal friend. This is as it should be, because the alliance between our two countries is one not only of necessity, but it is one that is strengthened also by the bonds of friendship. And the fact that the relationships between Presidents of the United States and Prime Ministers of Japan over the years have been not only official but personal has meant that that alliance has been thereby strengthened.

It is particularly appropriate that your first official visit, as Prime Minister, to the United States should be in this State of Hawaii, because here 30 percent of the population of this State is proud of its Japanese background. And we are reminded, as we meet in Hawaii, of how much Americans who have Japanese background have contributed to the strength, the diversity of our country.

As we see what has happened in Hawaii, and as we see what has happened in other parts of our country where people of Japanese background and the other diverse backgrounds of America have worked together, we realize how much the Japanese people of your country and the American people can do together in the cause of building a structure of peace in the world.

I know that this meeting that we will have will contribute to the desire of both of our peoples to strengthen the structure of peace so that we can continue on the road to progress which we fortunately both are moving on together today.

Mr. Prime Minister, I can say only that I extend this welcome not only personally, but from all the American people to you and to the people of Japan. May we always meet as we meet today, working for the great goals of peace in the Pacific and peace in the world.

Note: The President spoke at 8:35 p.m. at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, where Prime Minister Tanaka received a formal welcome with full military honors. The President spoke without referring to notes. See also Item 282.

The Prime Minister spoke in Japanese. A translation of his remarks was made available by Japanese officials as follows:
Mr. President, Mrs. Nixon, Mr. Secretary of State, ladies and gentlemen:

I wish to thank you most sincerely, Mr. President, for your very kind words and for this extremely cordial and warm reception accorded to us today.

Since I assumed the post of Prime Minister, it has been my strong wish to meet and have discussions with President Nixon and other leaders of the United States Government at the earliest possible opportunity. It is indeed a great pleasure for me that the opportunity is now realized.

I feel that it is most appropriate and significant that the meeting is taking place here in Hawaii, where peoples of diverse races with diverse traditions and cultures in the Pacific area have come and toiled together under the American flag to build a paradise in the Pacific.

All of you are aware that Japan and the United States, as partners situated across the Pacific, have maintained close cooperative relations in a variety of fields for many years. Today we are living in an increasingly multipolarized world where Japan has come to assume greater responsibilities in the international community commensurate with her increased national strength. With this in mind, we wish to strengthen further the already solid foundation of friendship and mutual trust between Japan and the United States and to promote even more wide-ranging cooperative relations in the coming years. I earnestly hope that my meeting with President Nixon will mark the beginning of a new era of constant dialogue between our two countries.

Let me lastly convey, on behalf of the people of Japan, their very sincere greetings to the people of the United States.

Richard Nixon, Remarks of Welcome to Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka of Japan at Honolulu Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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