Remarks Upon Arrival at Narita Airport

Kurt M. Campbell
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Narita, Japan
October 6, 2011

ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: It’s wonderful, absolutely wonderful to be back in Tokyo and I’m here with our team from Washington, D.C. We’re very much looking forward to consultations and discussions with our Japanese colleagues and interlocutors. I want to apologize that I made a mistake when I was in Washington. I was suggesting that Secretary Clinton will be inviting the Foreign Minister. And I misspoke, she is inviting the Foreign Minister to come to Washington for discussions later this year. That’s a normal practice. Further invitations or discussions are normally handled by the White House.

While in Tokyo, we will have discussions on a wide range of issues. Obviously the United States and Japan have a deep global alliance. We’ll talk about all the areas that we are making common cause. We’ll also talk about some of the domestic issues that we’re working on.

There’s a new team here in Japan. I had the great honor and privilege to be in the meeting between the Prime Minister and the President, and the Secretary and the Foreign Minister. I think we’re off to a very good start. We have high hopes about what we can accomplish together. This is our most important relationship in Asia. We’re entering perhaps the most consequential period of diplomacy in years: APEC in Hawaii, a chance to regenerate our economic purpose in this most dynamic of areas; the EAS, the United States has been grateful to be accepted, we will be joining, President Obama will be attending; U.S.-ASEAN summits; a variety of other high-level meetings and trips throughout the region. We’re very excited, we have a lot of work to do, and the first stop on this trip for me is here in Japan. I’m very much looking forward to meeting some of my new interlocutors at the Gaimusho, and I’ll have more to say as the day goes on. And thank you all very much for coming today, and I’m sorry for the mistake as well.