Gerald R. Ford photo

Toast at a Banquet at the Imperial Palace

November 19, 1974

You r Majesties:

I am honored to be the guest of Your Imperial Majesties, and it is with a very deep sense of this special moment that I speak this evening.

The first state visit of an American President to Japan is an occasion of very great importance to all Americans. Your gracious hospitality symbolically honors the 213 million Americans that I have the honor to represent. I can reassure Japan that the United States is determined to perpetuate the unique ties that link our two nations for the common good.

Though separated by the broadest of oceans, Your Majesty, we have achieved between our two nations the closest of friendships. Our relationships transcend that of governments and heads of state. Each year, the ties binding Americans with Japanese increase in trade, science, culture, sports, and many other areas, including cherished personal contacts between individuals.

We share a common devotion to moral and to spiritual strength. Our paths are not always identical, but they all lead in the same direction--that of world peace and harmonious relations among mankind.

Let us continue to seek understanding with each other and among all peoples, Your Majesty. Let us trade, let us share and perpetuate the prosperity of both nations. Let us work together to solve common problems, recognizing the interdependence of the modern world in which we all live.

America, I can assure you, Your Majesty, is determined to do its part. It is in a spirit of respect, a spirit of admiration for the Japanese nation, in dedication of our continuing collaboration, and with sincere and deep-felt confidence in the future that I offer a toast to the health and to the well-being of your Imperial Majesties.

Note: The President spoke at 8:56 p.m. at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo at a dinner banquet hosted by Emperor Hirohito and Empress Nagako.

Gerald R. Ford, Toast at a Banquet at the Imperial Palace Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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