Speech by
Minister for Foreign Affairs Makiko Tanaka
at the Ceremony in Commemoration
of 50th anniversary of the Signing
of the San Francisco Peace Treaty

September 8, 2001,
at Opera House


Secretary Shultz,
Secretary Powell,
Prime Minister Miyazawa,
Mayor Brown,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Fifty years ago on this day and in this Opera House, the San Francisco Peace Treaty was signed. San Francisco is said to have been chosen as the site with the hope that the Pacific would truly become the ocean of peace. I am happy to have just received from Speaker Hertzberg a copy of the California State Legislature resolution proclaiming September 8th as Japan Peace Treaty Day. Today I sincerely appreciate the open hearted and friendly welcome by the people of California and especially the people of San Francisco. I would also like to express my respect and gratitude to the honorary chair of this event, Secretary Shultz, and to all the members of the Japan-U.S. 21st Century Project.

The San Francisco Peace Treaty restored Japan to full sovereignty, equality and freedom. It enabled my country to rejoin postwar international society. Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida, the head of the Japanese delegation, said in his speech that this treaty "is an instrument of reconciliation and trust." So it has proved to be. On the same day of signing the peace treaty, the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty was signed at the Presidio. Thus, the two nations have become indispensable partners. History has proved that these decisions were right. It should also be emphasized that the reversion of Okinawa was realized in 1972.

The San Francisco Peace Treaty served as a basis for Japan's post-war development. It also laid the foundation for peace and prosperity in the international community. This Treaty resolved all the post-war settlement issues among the Parties, including Japan and the United States. The Treaty also enabled Japan and the Allied Powers to put an end to the past and take a new step for the future. Japan has faithfully implemented its obligations under the Treaty.

We have never forgotten that Japan caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries during the last war. Many lost their precious lives and many were wounded. The war has left an incurable scar on many people, including former prisoners of war. Facing these facts of history in a spirit of humility, I reaffirm today our feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology expressed in the Prime Minister Murayama's statement of 1995.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Immediately after the war, Japan faced food shortage and economic difficulties. When the Japanese people were suffering, it was the United States who generously provided assistance. Many young Japanese studied in the United States under the programs such as the GARIOA Scholarship and the Fulbright Scholarship. What they learned contributed to the economic development of Japan thereafter. The United States also supported Japan's joining the multilateral free trade system. The Japanese people will never forget the assistance and support extended by the United States.
Today, in Tokyo, the A50 ceremony, led by non-governmental initiative, was held to express appreciation to the United States for its role in Japan's postwar recovery. The representatives of A50 are also present at this ceremony.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Fifty years covers one-third of the history of Japan-U.S. relations. During this last fifty years, the international community has experienced drastic change and faced various challenges. Occasionally, our two nations also experienced frictions, such as in the trade field. We have overcome such challenges and advanced "the most important bilateral relationship, bar none." This was possible because we have shared values of freedom, democracy and a market economy. We are also bonded with a friendship and basic trust in each other. In the history of the world, what other two nations who were engaged in war have so rapidly established so strong a partnership? In the future, problems may arise between us from time to time. But I am convinced that we can overcome these challenges through close dialogue with a spirit of cooperation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
As we entered the new millennium, we are turning a new page in the Japan-US relationship. Today, uncertainty and instability still exist in the Asia-Pacific region. The international community faces a number of global challenges. The United States and Japan, the largest and second largest economies in the world, fully recognize our responsibilities in meeting these challenges.

The world expects the United States to continue to play the leading role in addressing such issues as economy, global environment, security and arms control. Also to advance the global economy, the world expects Japan to revitalize its own economy. The Koizumi Cabinet is determined to carry out structural reform toward this end. Japan is also ready to play a more active role in the international arena.

We are allies in political and security fields. We are close economic partners. And I believe we must enhance mutual exchanges in the cultural field. Two countries with such differences in history and culture should never cease to learn about each other's society. And we cannot understand each other's society without understanding the humanity that forms that society.

With this belief in mind, I will initiate from next year a program, which invites 25 U.S. high school students to Japan for a period of one year. Hoping that this will be a step, small though it may be, to advance the Japan-U.S. relationship, I named this program JUMP. It stands for the Japan-U.S. Mutual-understanding Program.

Ladies and gentlemen,
All the friendship, all the cooperation, all the trust that our two countries now enjoy started in this room half a century ago.

Let us pledge ourselves to advancing peace and prosperity in the coming 50 years as our predecessors have done in the past 50 years. Let us work together. Let us start today.

Thank you very much.

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