Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Toasts of the President and Prime Minister Kishi of Japan

January 19, 1960

Mr. Prime Minister, Mr. Foreign Minister, and distinguished guests:

It is a very great personal honor to welcome here in Washington the Prime Minister of Japan and his associates in government. They are here to sign, with us, a treaty of mutual cooperation and security.

This year is the centennial of an occasion very similar to this One. A predecessor of mine, 100 years ago, welcomed to this city the first Japanese diplomatic mission to the United States--indeed, the first diplomatic mission that in modern times the Japanese had sent abroad.

During those hundred years, tremendous changes have taken place. In our technology, in science, the changes have been such as to be revolutionary. And in the thinking of our two peoples, there has been likewise a great change. We have come to the realization that we were not, each of us, truly independent of ourselves and of others, but that there is among the nations--certainly the nations of the free world--a great and growing interdependence.

In 1860 Japan was just emerging from an isolation centuries old and almost complete in its character. The United States was living in an isolation of a different kind. We were so protected by two vast ocean areas that we had no real interest in the rest of the world, and certainly felt ourselves to be immune from the quarrels and struggles and problems and even the privations that others experienced.

We have come a long way from that time. In 1960, our two countries represented here today are leaders in an effort to bring the free nations of the world into a closer cooperation through which they may achieve a better security for themselves and for realizing for all people the peace in freedom that they seek.

The signing of this treaty this afternoon will, all of us hope, mark one significant step in progress toward that goal.

I am hopeful that all of you present, after we have had our coffee in the Blue Room, will be guests at that signing, which will take place in the East Room immediately after we leave the Blue Room.

It has been a particular delight for me to have Mr. Kishi, an old friend of mine, here representing his country this morning. We had a chance, because of this visit, to remark upon the tremendous changes, the tremendous progress that has been made in the last 2 years between the relations of our two countries. We agreed that there is ground for great confidence that these relations will be sound and will grow ever stronger.

Now of course, for both of us, it would have been a little bit more enjoyable and possibly even more profitable to have had these conversations on the golf course. But in spite of the uncooperative character of the season, we did have these talks and both of us agreed that they have been not only interesting but fruitful.

And it is in that belief and conviction that I propose a Toast to the Monarch whose able Prime Minister is our honored guest today.

Gentlemen, and Madam, will you please join me in raising our glasses to His Majesty, the Emperor of Japan.

Note: The President proposed this toast at a luncheon in the state dining room at the White House at 2:06 p.m. In his opening words he referred to Aiichiro Fujiyama, Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs. In the closing paragraph the words "and Madam" referred to Madam Harue Yamashita, Member of the Japanese House of Representatives.

An unofficial translation of Prime Minister Kishi's response follows:

Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, and other honorable guests:

Today I and my associates have the privilege of discussing political affairs with the President, for which I offer thanks from the bottom of my heart. Further, the President's generous Toast has touched me deeply, for which I am also thankful.

In the two and a half years which have passed since I first met with the President to discuss matters of mutual concern and mutual cooperation, we have seen great progress toward achieving a position of equality and mutual trust. That we have done so is a blessing for the peoples of both our countries. Moreover, it also contributes in a great degree toward the achievement of that peace in the world which all peoples wish for.

We all know that the President works constantly, with all of his energies, toward achieving peace in the world, with justice and freedom. Not only we in Japan, but the peoples of the entire world are well aware of this, and we all praise you for your activities, Mr. President. We pray for your success in your purposes.

As the President has already explained, my purpose in coming to the United States at this time is to sign the new treaty of mutual cooperation and security between Japan and the United States. But this year, as the President has also indicated, marks the end of the first century since the first amicable diplomatic contact between our two countries.

Throughout that hundred years, never with the exception of a brief few do I believe that we have had relations of anything less than a mutually profitable nature. I hope that in the coming hundred years that we will achieve even more progress toward a new relationship based on trust and cooperation.

I think that what we are doing today is significant for both the peace of the world and for the prosperity of the peoples of the world. I hope that our friendship continues in this way through the next century, without even a few years such as those which blotted our relations in the past.

I hope that the work we do here today will gain for us more than the hundred years of peaceful and cooperative relations that my predecessors gained. I know that we will continue to work hard to achieve this.

In reply to the remarks of the President, I would like to thank him from the bottom of my heart. I would like to toast the health of the President, and pray that he may continue to work so energetically for the peace of the world and for the prosperity of all of the American people.

Thank you.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Toasts of the President and Prime Minister Kishi of Japan Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/234319

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