WASHINGTON — Following their summit meeting on April 30, in Washington, D.C., President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda issued “US-Japan Joint Statement: A Shared Vision for the Future,” which confirmed the U.S.-Japan alliance as the “cornerstone of peace, security, and stability in the Asia Pacific region for the past 60 years.”
The statement also announced a number of initiatives in the area of security cooperation, economic partnership, and cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
Noda arrived at the nation’s capital on April 29. Japanese Ambassador to the U.S. Ichiro Fujisaki held a small reception at his official residence that evening with representatives from government entities, the private sector and the community. Three members of the Japanese American Veterans Association (JAVA) were invited: Robert Nakamoto, immediate past president, Grant Ichikawa, board member, and Terry Shima, executive director.
In his remarks, the prime minister expressed his gratitude for U.S. relief and reconstruction aid following the March 2011 tsunami and recognized the courage and contribution of Taylor Anderson, a 24-year-old English teacher from Virginia who died in that disaster.
He also gave a glimpse of his position for the following day’s summit by saying he was determined to lead the efforts to build a solid partnership between the two nations.
During discussions with the JAVA representatives and Hideki Hamamoto, president of HHTransPac Inc., who is active in U.S-Japan relations, Fujisaki informed Noda about JAVA and the Congressional Gold Medal awarded to the Japanese American soldiers who served in the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and Military Intelligence Service during World War II.
Noda asked the Nisei to convey his congratulations and best wishes to the veterans and their families. He had previously visited the National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism near the U.S. Capitol in 2011, when he served as minister of finance.
On April 30, Noda attended a State Department dinner hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. JAVA President Gerald Yamada, who was invited to this dinner, reported that Clinton, in her welcoming remarks, pointed to the 3,000 cherry trees, a gift from Japan 100 years ago, as the symbol of enduring friendship between the two countries. She announced a gift of 3,000 dogwood trees for the people of Japan from the American people.
She also offered a toast to “our enduring friendship and partnership, and to a future we build together of peace and prosperity for ourselves and the world.”
In his remarks, the prime minister also emphasized the importance of friendship between the two countries.
Legendary violinist Midori Goto entertained the guests with two musical selections.
Dr. Craig Uchida, former board chairman of the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation, and Floyd Mori, national executive director of the Japanese American Citizen’s League, also attended the State Department dinner.