"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Toast of Emperor Hirohito

[Place] The White House
[Date] October 2, 1975
[Source] The American Presidency Project
[Full text]

Mr. President, Mrs. Ford, ladies and gentlemen:

I wish to offer my sincere appreciation for your most thoughtful words. I am deeply moved by your warm expression of good will toward Japan and the people of Japan.

Your visit to Japan last fall, Mr. President, brought a bright and happy page in the 120-year-long history of Japanese-American relations. Ever since your visit, the Empress and I have been looking forward to this moment when we might be with you again, Mr. President, and with Mrs. Ford for the first time.

We also thank you cordially for your gracious hospitality this evening at the White House. We are mindful that in this house great leaders of your country have presided since the early years of the Nation, making their indelible marks on national and world history.

Our first night in the United States we spent at Williamsburg, resting from our long journey and savoring, in the calm atmosphere of that picturesque town, historic reminders of the birth of this Nation. Those associations are deepened for us tonight, in your company and in this historic house.

I recall the wise counsel which your first President, George Washington, gave the American people upon leaving the Office of the Presidency in 1796: "Observe good faith and justice towards all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all."

This precept is still valid in today's world. It is an idea shared by the Japanese people in their continuing efforts to cultivate peace and harmony within the international community.

It has been my wish for many years to visit the United States. There is one thing in particular which I have hoped to convey to the American people, should my visit be materialized; that is, to extend in my own words my gratitude to the people of the United States for the friendly hand of good will and assistance their great country afforded us for our postwar reconstruction immediately following that most unfortunate war, which I deeply deplore.

Today, a new generation with no personal memory of those years is about to be in the majority in both our countries. Yet I am confident that the story of the generosity and good will of the American people will be retold from generation to generation of Japanese for the rest of time.

The United States has made extraordinary contributions to the well-being and progress among mankind during the past two centuries. Today, on the eve of your Bicentennial and amidst the shifting tides of history, the United States continues to stand for the high ideals which gave this Nation birth.

The American people are still contributing to further development of this most vigorous and creative society and to the building of peace and prosperity in the world.

Mankind is now engaged in a common endeavor--the creation of a just and peaceful international community. For this lofty objective, it is my hope that Japan and the United States, as two powerful and stable nations, will cooperate actively on the basis of even better understanding of each other through further dialog, drawing strengths from the richness of our past histories and traditions.

Ladies and gentlemen, I propose a toast to the health of the President of the United States of America and Mrs. Ford, and to the American people on the threshold of your third glorious century as a nation.