"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] Speech by Minister for Foreign Affairs Makiko Tanaka at the Ceremony in Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Signing of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty

[Place] San Francisco
[Date] September 8, 2001
[Source] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

Secretary Powell, Secretary Shultz, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

50 years ago at this site, two nations, divided by years of war and confrontation, swore to cooperate for peace and security. Enemy became ally. Mistrust became trust. It is my great pleasure today to commemorate with you the signing of the Security treaty between Japan and the United States.

Half a century ago, the two countries signed this treaty believing that the securities of the two countries are inseparable. Ours has never been an alliance for war but an alliance for peace. We recognized that peace is not a destination; it is a continuing journey. Maintaining the peace requires action not inertia. Peace requires vigilance as much as war.

For the past fifty years, the Security Treaty has provided that vigilance. It has also shown the world our joint commitment to the shared basic values of peace, freedom, and human rights.

While the Asia-Pacific region has experienced several conflicts and crises over the past half century, today peace prevails in the region. The security arrangement between Japan and the United States is the anchor for this peace. It is not just a common asset for our two countries but a common asset for the Asia-Pacific region.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my deepest respect and sincere gratitude for all those who have contributed to our security.

First, I would like to thank the many people who have worked to develop the security structure that we benefit from today. We have achieved significant advances. These include the 1960 revision of the Security Treaty and the Guidelines for US-Japan Defense Cooperation.

We must also remember the contributions of those American soldiers who are serving so far away from their families and friends. We also grateful to the members of the Japanese Self-Defense Force.

I had an opportunity to participate in a training program off Yokosuka on the U.S. aircraft carrier, the Kitty Hawk. Having witnessed young people on the carrier devoting themselves to training for peace and stability, I was very much moved. Learning later that the Kitty Hawk was built in Philadelphia where I once studied, I felt an even stronger attachment to it.

Last but not least, I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to the citizens who bear burdens under the Japan-US alliance. Peace is not without cost, but the Government of Japan, in cooperation with the United States, will continue to be as sensitive as possible to those concerns.

Although the Cold War is over, uncertainty and instability persist in the Asia Pacific region. The need for effective deterrence remains undiminished.

The Security Treaty is not just a piece of paper. It signifies everyday operations. We must not take each other's cooperation for granted. We must also strive to strengthen our alliance. As Prime Minister Koizumi and President bush agreed at Camp David, we will intensify consultations on security issues. We will also discuss further steps to improve effectiveness of our security arrangements.

Our predecessors made a right choice good for their generation, good for ours and good for generations to come. Now it is our turn to carry the torch. It is our duty to pass it to our next generation. We will and we will do so proudly.

Thank you.