Commemoration of the Great East Japan Earthquake

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
March 9, 2012

A year ago, the world witnessed unspeakable tragedy as the Great East Japan Earthquake took thousands of lives, and battered a nation. But through the resilience and courage of the Japanese people, Japan lifted itself out of the wreckage and began to rebuild what was lost.

In the wake of that disaster, the United States was eager to assist by providing support for Japan’s Self-Defense Forces and civilian responders. Today, as the recovery moves forward, we are committed to Japan’s future and to this important partnership and alliance.

The ties between our two countries are strong and enduring, and we look to Japan as an important regional and global leader. Even while rebuilding at home, Japan has continued to be an unwavering voice in the international community. Whether promoting democracy in Burma and the Middle East, providing assistance in Afghanistan and Iraq, or working to curb violence and piracy in the Horn of Africa, Japan is taking on some of the most pressing issues of our time.

In the years to come, I hope that the bond between our countries will grow stronger as we work together to meet new challenges and explore new opportunities. Today, as we remember all who were lost a year ago, we reaffirm that deep and lasting friendship.