Gerald R. Ford photo

Text of a Toast at a Working Dinner for Prime Minister Takeo Miki of Japan

August 05, 1975

Mr. Prime Minister:

In the last 40 years, you have visited this country in many capacities--as a student, as a private citizen, as a representative of your government, as a statesman-but always as a good friend. Ten years ago, you came as Foreign Minister. We met 2 years ago when you visited Washington as Deputy Prime Minister. Today, I am honored to greet you as the Prime Minister of your great nation.

Mr. Prime Minister, you and I have participated in public life for many years. We appreciate the transformation in Japanese-American relations of the last 30 years. We understand the immense benefits our two peoples enjoy because of this very close friendship. The keystone of this relationship is a sound security accord. The United States remains firmly committed to the alliance with Japan--an undertaking we could not value more highly.

It is significant that your first trip abroad as Prime Minister is to the United States, just as my first overseas visit as President was to Japan. These priorities reflect the order and standing of Japanese-American relations. They confirm our growing cooperation, which is basic to our respective foreign policies. Our visits accentuate the interdependence of our countries and the extent to which the security and prosperity of our two peoples have become interwoven in the second half of the 20th century.

Mr. Prime Minister, your visit provides a timely opportunity for us to review our cooperative efforts to deal with vital matters--food and energy, trade and development. Such issues will be the major focus of international relations for many years and perhaps for the remainder of this century.

The United States has admiration and respect for Japan's constructive contributions to the search for solutions to the world's economic and political problems. It is imperative that we continue working together. We can report to our peoples that our bilateral relations are respectfully intimate and remarkably free of trouble. We are approaching new international challenges with a growing knowledge of the underlying issues and with creative and responsive programs.

In your policy speech to the Diet in January, you said the whole of mankind shares a common fate aboard the ship called Earth. I agree completely. I would like Japanese-American relations to provide a pattern of cooperation for all countries. Mr. Prime Minister, Americans look forward with pleasant anticipation to the visit this fall of Their Imperial Majesties, the Emperor and Empress. Our citizens will extend a warm welcome. I am convinced that the visit of Their Majesties will lend a new dimension to our relations. Mr. Prime Minister, I sincerely hope your visit with us will be as productive for you as my trip to Japan last year was for me.

Gentlemen, will you join me in a toast to His Imperial Majesty, to you, Mr. Prime Minister, to the people of Japan, to continued close cooperation between our two great countries.

Note: The President spoke at the dinner which began at 7:30 p.m. at the White House.

Gerald R. Ford, Text of a Toast at a Working Dinner for Prime Minister Takeo Miki of Japan Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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