Remarks by Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Taimei Yamaguchi, on the occasion of his visit to New York

September 21, 2001

1. Governor Pataki, Mayor Guiliani, Speaker Vallone, all the members of the New York City Council, and all the New Yorkers, thank you very much for your time today.

2. This has been such a tragedy for all New Yorkers, which is beyond words. On behalf of the Japanese people, I would like to convey my sincere condolences and prayers to the innocent victims and their families including those firefighters, police officers, and rescue team members who were involved in this most horrible of tragedies. The people of Japan are deeply moved by the brave activities of these dedicated rescue team members, who have selflessly risked their lives without thinking of their own personal safety. These courageous acts will remain and stay in our memory for a long time to come. Also, I am hoping that as many missing people as possible will be rescued.

3. I would like to express my deep respect for Governor Pataki, Mayor Guiliani, and Speaker Vallone, who have been in the forefront since the day of this tragedy, for their strong leadership in this unprecedented crisis. Japanese people are also among the missing. Once again, we would like to thank you for your continuous, night and day rescue efforts.

4. I took control of the Japanese headquarters on this case in New York, and everyday I have inspected the scene of this devastation. I am firmly convinced that this terrorist act was not just an attack against the United States, but also a stark challenge against the entire international community. In that respect, I was deeply impressed and agree with President Bush's speech of last night. We will strongly support the United States as an ally to fight against this terrorism. As Prime Minister Koizumi announced the day before yesterday, we are considering a series of policies, including dispatching the Self Defense Force and providing emergency economic aid to Pakistan and India which support the United States.

5. With the most sincere and heartfelt expression of our support and sympathies to these people, the Japanese government determined to make a donation in the total amount of $10 million, of which $5 million will go to the New York State World Trade Center Relief Fund and $5 million to the Twin Towers Fund. I would like to humbly present this here to you. Although financial support cannot fill the void left by the absence of those loved ones, I hope that you will accept these two donations. I also hope that they will be really helpful in conducting the rescue that is underway and rebuilding the City of New York, and also contributing to the future life of New York State and City. I would like to mention that a large-scale prayer ceremony for all the Americans and other people involved in this tragedy will also be held in Japan on the 23rd of September in order to reconfirm the strength and bonds of our alliance.

6. Although this was such a sad tragedy, I was truly impressed with the patriotism of the American people when I saw those flags, the Stars and Stripes, and candles. I have no doubt that the spirit of cooperation and friendship shown by New Yorkers during this tragedy will light the way to New York's revival and a bright future for the citizens of New York.

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