Meeting With Tomodachi Youth

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Chief of Mission Residence
Tokyo, Japan
April 14, 2013

SECRETARY KERRY: Good morning. Wonderful to be with you all. Hi. How are you? What’s your name?

PARTICIPANT: (In Japanese.)

SECRETARY KERRY: I’m happy to meet you. Hi.

PARTICIPANT: Hi. I’m (inaudible).

SECRETARY KERRY: How are you? (Inaudible.) How are you? Welcome. Nice to see you. How are you?


SECRETARY KERRY: How do you do? How are you? Konichiwa. (Laughter.) How are you. Nice to see you. How are you? Nice to see you. Pleasure. Sorry. Been there a few years. How do you do?


SECRETARY KERRY: Glad to meet you. Relax, everybody. All right. Well, Mr. Ambassador, it’s your floor.

AMBASSADOR ROOS: Well, Mr. Secretary – it’s on?


AMBASSADOR ROOS: Mr. Secretary, we’re delighted to have you here in Tokyo. We’ve been very much looking forward to this visit. And as your first event – first major event – we have the young people that represent the Tomodachi generation. And as we had a chance to talk a few minutes ago, Mr. Secretary was telling me to see is the young people of Japan, the United States, and other countries that are going to collaborate across border in order to confront the global challenges. And we’re delighted to have many of you here who have all kinds of differences – different experiences, including many who have participated in our Tomodachi programs, which, Mr. Secretary, this is a public private-private partnership that we created to bring the younger generations of Japan together with the younger generations of the United States. So I know you’re here to hear their stories and you’d like to say a few words first then we’ll get started.

SECRETARY KERRY: All right. Well, thank you, John. Thank you very, very much. And thank you, all of you, I’m really happy to be here and I look forward to hearing your stories. I want to have a chance to really be able to listen to you and to share your stories.

But the Ambassador was telling me about the Tomodachi program as we were driving in. It sounds very exciting and very diverse. I gather you have a lot of different components of it, including some of you may have been involved with the Clinton initiative. Ah, okay. Now you’re Riko Takamura -- (inaudible) right?

PARTICIPANT: (Inaudible.)

SECRETARY KERRY: I understand you won all the speech prizes – all the debating prizes. Is that true?

PARTICIPANT: Yeah. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY KERRY: That is true. Very exciting. Okay, I’m going to give a short speech then. (Laughter.) I don’t want to compete here.

But how did that come about? Tell me about your –

PARTICIPANT: Hi. I’m Riko Takamura from Sophia University, and last week, we three of us, went to Clinton Global University in St. Louis --

SECRETARY KERRY: Oh, wow. You went all the way to Missouri.

PARTICIPANT: That’s right.

SECRETARY KERRY: That’s very exciting. How’s your jet lag doing? You all right?

PARTICIPANT: Yeah. We are kind of okay. School starts from for me – from Friday our school starts. So back to school.

SECRETARY KERRY: Back to school.


SECRETARY KERRY: So you have a little bit of time.

PARTICIPANT: Yeah, a bit of time.

SECRETARY KERRY: And tell me what you did there. What did you do?

PARTICIPANT: Okay. So at there I have a commitment that to provide workshop for children so that they feel comfortable talking in front of others. Yes, because I used to live in United States for five years when I was in junior high and high school. And at there I have many opportunities talking in front of others. But once I came back to Japan, we don’t have much opportunity talking in front of others.

SECRETARY KERRY: Really? That doesn’t happen in school?


SECRETARY KERRY: Isn’t that interesting.

PARTICIPANT: Traditionally, Japanese people are very shy at public speaking. (Laughter.) Before I got to U.S., I was very shy and I don’t --

SECRETARY KERRY: So in other words you’re saying Americans talk a lot. (Laughter.) Or at least public speakers.

PARTICIPANT: They’re like good at express themselves in front of others.


PARTICIPANT: So Mr. Secretary I want to ask you, like can you give me like advice for all of us that like to provide good speaker or good public speakers?

SECRETARY KERRY: Can I give you advice about public speaking? No, I think you’re doing the right thing. (Laughter.) Seriously, I think – but I’m surprised to hear that there isn’t a tradition of that kind of speaking in school necessarily. So people need an opportunity to do it. I mean, I’ll tell you the first time I ever gave a speech I was in high school and I was absolutely terrified. (Laughter.) I think I broke into a fever I was so scared. I didn’t have any idea what I was doing. And you just have to practice. So you’re doing the right thing. You have to gain the confidence of doing it.

But tell me what – I want to know how you came to be in Tomodachi, some of you. And I’m happy to answer any questions that you want. I’d be delighted to do it. But I’d love to hear sort of what your attitudes are about the future and what you think about where Japan is today relative to where you’d like it to be. I know many of you are involved in innovation in different kinds of programs, correct? So why don’t we just quickly share with me, who wants to tell me how you came to be here? Yes, sir. I want to hear your story.

PARTICIPANT: Hi. My name is Simon Page. I go to the University of Washington. I’m a PhD student there but I’m here on an exchange program at Tokyo Tech – Tokyo Institute of Technology.

SECRETARY KERRY: Are you an engineering student?

PARTICIPANT: I’m an engineering student, yes. So I have a little interesting background – I was born in Japan and I’ve spent a lot of time in Japan and both in the U.S. and so --

SECRETARY KERRY: (Inaudible) to be born in Japan?

PARTICIPANT: My mother’s Japanese and my father met my mother in Japan. They married. Had me.

SECRETARY KERRY: That’s clever. (Laughter.) That’s a good way to get born in Japan.

PARTICIPANT: Yeah. But I guess part of my background, being in Japan and being in the U.S. culturally, part of me, has been really important to keep up the relations between Japan and the U.S. for me. And so I’ve spent the last maybe like eight years in the U.S. at the University of Washington, both undergrad and graduate, and then I was looking for a chance to come back here and --

SECRETARY KERRY: So this program gave you that chance.

PARTICIPANT: It was a Tokyo Tech program but it’s --

SECRETARY KERRY: But how did you – and so how did you hear about Tomodachi?

PARTICIPANT: I heard about Tomodachi actually through Tokyo Tech.


PARTICIPANT: And so they were telling me about this opportunity hence --

SECRETARY KERRY: And what do you see the opportunity as? I mean, what struck you and said I’m going to go do that?

PARTICIPANT: Because this is basically – this concept of being in Tomodachi and having very deep connections in both countries or between countries was really what I’ve been brought up with and what I’ve been told that, “Oh, this is something that you could do that will be very impactful on both countries and help both countries a lot.”

SECRETARY KERRY: And when you say, “this concept of being Tomodachi,” how would you describe that to somebody who doesn’t know -- what does it mean to be Tomodachi?

PARTICIPANT: I feel that it’s something more than just a simple friendship like meeting someone and being like, “Hi, my name is Simon.” It’s more getting to know them and getting to build a relationship with them. And it’s – hmm -- (laughter) – it’s building a relationship. It’s building a lasting relationship that you can count on for --

SECRETARY KERRY: What do you think – what have you learned from this that you think the people of America ought to know about Japan and what do you think you’ve learned that the Japanese ought to know about America? What would you want to change or make different?

PARTICIPANT: First of all, as Riko had mentioned, Japanese people are generally shy, but I found that there’s a lot of potential in Japan that us in the U.S. should be tapping into. And so by opening that kind of pathway to Japan and the U.S. we can make --

SECRETARY KERRY: To open up opportunities for the future, so to speak.

PARTICIPANT: Yes. Open up opportunities.

SECRETARY KERRY: What opportunities do you want? I want to hear from some of the folks who are Japanese who are in the program and tell me what you hope to get out of it and what your view is of the future? Anybody want to speak to that? Yes. Back there. Yes, sir. We’ll go back there and then we’ll come to you in the front. Tell us your name.

PARTICIPANT: My name is Nobu. I’m a PhD in (inaudible) University.


PARTICIPANT: Candidate at Osaka University.

SECRETARY KERRY: But in what? In what discipline?

PARTICIPANT: History of culture ancient (inaudible) between the U.S. and Japan.

SECRETARY KERRY: Wow. That’s great.

PARTICIPANT: Thanks to Tomodachi initiative, I joined Clinton Global Initiative – university. Before Clinton Global Initiative, I thought to be a global leader strategy and knowledge are the most important. However, I learned to make world better, (inaudible) and heart is most important. That’s what I learned at.

SECRETARY KERRY: Interesting. What – and what taught you that? Why did you suddenly focus in on strong will and heart?

PARTICIPANT: I had a lot of chances to meet global leaders such as (inaudible), President Bill Clinton, and also (inaudible). Every global leader repeat in saying, “I believe. I believe. I believe.” So not only knowledge and skill but it’s important to believe in myself and also believe in others. That’s their key point to make up world better.

SECRETARY KERRY: What worries you, if anything, or what excites you about the future with respect to Japan – to your country?

PARTICIPANT: I expect that a lot of Japanese more go to abroad because it is this young Japanese leaders don’t go abroad because they have a lot of fears and don’t want to fail in their future. So it’s important to be enlightened --

SECRETARY KERRY: So you think it’s important for future leaders to have exposure to other countries and to get out and travel and see the world.

PARTICIPANT: Yes. (Inaudible.)

SECRETARY KERRY: How do you feel about the future for Japan itself, for your country? What do you think about when you think about the future?

PARTICIPANT: I really love Japan and I think the Japanese future is bright. I think many Japanese people more love our country and more have the opportunity to learn by about countries by means of exchange program that if we have a lot of chance to exchange our own cultures, that’s may lead to the fact that we can realize our own culture.

SECRETARY KERRY: Great. Please, you raised your hand, I think. If we can just hand the microphone – there you go. Thank you.

PARTICIPANT: Hi. (Inaudible) from (inaudible). My name is Miko. I am from International Christian University. And country I work for international NGO called (inaudible) Japan. And there, I usually coordinate many a hundred and two hundreds of (inaudible) at events.

SECRETARY KERRY: You coordinate foreign students?

PARTICIPANT: Not foreign students but just Japanese.

SECRETARY KERRY: Japanese students.

PARTICIPANT: Young people.

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, what do you coordinate them at?

PARTICIPANT: We usually work at musical festivals and environmental events at Yoyoki park and after events (inaudible) I’m a student staff from the NGO and all the student staffs coordinate volunteering from all over Japan.


PARTICIPANT: And what I see from my activity is before the volunteering all the people very shy and not confident – shy to each other. But after they (inaudible) and they volunteer they do something together and they become friends. So what I think is, if we want to get stronger relationships between Japan and U.S., it is very important to get young people work together --

SECRETARY KERRY: To meet each other and work together. Do you guys work at some time that you all take part in different work things? Or do you work at the same program? Yes.

PARTICIPANT: Hello. My name is (inaudible). I’m a junior student in (inaudible) university. And I’m now working in JAS -- Japan American (inaudible). It’s a student organization supported by the American Embassy so I sometimes work and get a (inaudible) from the staff in the American Embassy.

SECRETARY KERRY: What – and what are you studying at the university?

PARTICIPANT: At the university I study international law.

SECRETARY KERRY: Okay. Great. Good for you. And what made you decide to do this? Why did you do this program?

PARTICIPANT: Oh, this program?


PARTICIPANT: Yes. (Inaudible.) I got to know – actually, I got to know this Tomodachi programs through JAS. What we do is that we hold some events and those events are whole held mostly in English and we let Japanese students come to the event and let them know more about this American cultures. And the vice-versa, we also let people from (inaudible) America come to the event, talk to Japanese students, and learn a bit about Japanese cultures. And I want to ask you one thing.

SECRETARY KERRY: So you think that exchange is very helpful.


SECRETARY KERRY: Very important.

AMBASSADOR ROOS: Mr. Secretary, one thing, a statistic that’s concerning that we’re trying to reverse, the number of Japanese students choosing to study in the United States has declined by over 50 percent in the last 10 years. The number of students in the U.S. coming to Japan has been flat but at a low number. So many of these students who are looking to connect to the United States are part of a broader effort to reverse that trend.

SECRETARY KERRY: That’s very interesting. I was not aware of that.

PARTICIPANT: And if I could ask you one --


PARTICIPANT: One advice. As we hold those events, we really want to let the Japanese students know more about America and American culture. So do we want to know of course, but we want to have that advice on what kind of culture in terms of what point can we hold any kind of event. Do you have any idea on it?

SECRETARY KERRY: Do I have any ideas? Well, you can have a reality TV show watching party. (Laughter.) And that will shock you. I think there are lots of – I mean, there’s so many different choices. So many different opportunities to be honest with you, whether you’re interested in art or music or sports or language. Whatever. There are really amazing numbers of ways to engage. What impresses me is the quality of everybody’s English. And I want to ask everybody, did you begin learning English in school.

PARTICIPANT: I’m returning from Europe and I was in the international school.

SECRETARY KERRY: You were in the international school. All right.

PARTICIPANT: In Europe. Switzerland. Yes.



SECRETARY KERRY: In Geneva. You’re very lucky. How about the rest of you? Because everybody here does speak English. Where’d you learn your English? In school. Anybody. Way back. Yes. We haven’t heard from you.

PARTICIPANT: After I had lived in England for five years that in Japan I studied English six years maybe. But I’m concerned about environmental issues and I had one question, sir.


PARTICIPANT: I’m very concerned about conflict minerals – rare metals in eastern Congo.

SECRETARY KERRY: Oh, the (inaudible) conflict metals. Absolutely. Well, look, it’s a huge challenge. There are parts of the world that are very rich in metals, in minerals, other resources, and in jewels – diamonds, rubies, so forth, emeralds – and I don’t know if you ever saw the movie Blood Diamond or any – I mean, greed drives people to undertake very dangerous activities. Elephant tusks, for instance, is an example. It’s not a mineral but needless to say but it’s – the poaching that is going on is literally threatening the existence of elephants. And these guys go out there and even though there have been shootings of rangers, people are out there trying to stop it. It’s like a war. And it’s a war over resources.

So frankly this is something that we need to pay more attention to, I think, at a global level. We need to have more enforcement, more monitoring. It’s like a lot of things. Where people can get away with it, they try to get away with it. And it’s a broad – it’s a broad array of challenges with environment concerns.

I’ll give you another example: Fisheries. Almost every single fishery on the planet is overfished. We literally have too much money chasing too few fish. And so we have big boats that go out – factory ships, other kinds of things – and they fish in ways that are illegal and they – in some cases – for instance, I was involved a number of ways in bagging drift net fishing, where you literally have thousands of miles of a drift net. It would be dropped in fishing and it would just strip mine the ocean. And half of what was caught would be thrown overboard because it wasn’t useful. It’s called by-catch. And then they would take all these fish illegally, against illegal numbers, and so forth, and sell it in the marketplace. And the result is now that lots of fisheries are very challenges. Lots of species of fish are not recovering fast enough. And this is a renewable resource as you all know. So whether it’s salmon or tuna or cod in the case of New England where I come from or other kinds of fish, we’re seeing a reduction in the overall ability of the ecosystem to survive, and it’s money that’s chasing that and lack of monitoring. That’s really the point that I wanted to make.

We have some monitoring within international fisheries requirements, but nobody puts the money up – fishermen don’t have the money. People can’t pay, they don’t pay, so you don’t have monitoring. So you don’t have enforcement. The same kind of thing in Congo. The same kind of thing in parts of Africa and other places where you don’t have the monitors, you don’t have enough rangers, you don’t have enough enforcement. And so the poachers have the upperhand, and they go out and illegally mine or illegally take some of these resources and sell them in the black market and make the money. We need to work on a better global enforcement mechanism of these kinds of things. And we see this challenge in the forests.

There’s a lot of illegal logging that takes place, particularly in parts of Southeast Asia. So you have these forests that get stripped – clear cut, as we call it – and I’ve flown over some of it and it’s really it’s frightening to see from the air. You just see these huge bare spots on the mountains where things have been clear cut and the logging is trucked illegally, everybody pays everybody off. The border guard gets paid off. The tax person gets paid off. And you don’t hav enforcement.

And so this is one of the great challenges that you all will inherit because we’re not going to solve it in one or two or three years. But we have to agree on certain standards. The best way to agree is through some kind of international organization and structure, and then you have to step up and enforce the agreements. And this is true of minerals and it’s true of other things.

In the case of the Congo, we’ve had this group called M-23, which has been funded in order to sort of provide protection to one country against another and it goes out and it marauds. I mean, it kills young people, it kills people. And they’re really thugs and criminals. And it wouldn’t take very much of a force to be able to repel them or to completely eliminate them. The problem is, you have to organize that force and you have to train it, you have to pay for it in a part of the world where people don’t have the resources so it doesn’t happen.

So we – these are some of the big challenges that we all need to work on and the reason I’m so interested in what you’re doing here in Tomodachi is you guys are leaders. I mean, you’re already leaders. And you have the potential now to go out and really make a difference. You choose what it’s going to be in. It can be in helping young people to be more confident, to go step up and change their lives completely, because of what you do. Or it can be starting a group of student associations which now can network across the internet, and you can organize people in another country right from here to be demanding that their political leaders stand up and do things about these things.

PARTICIPANT: Actually all cellphone – in our cellphones – may be conflict minerals are used. So through the cellphone, I think we are increasing the violence in eastern Congo.

SECRETARY KERRY: That’s fabulous. That’s exciting.

PARTICIPANT: So the question is, there is effective regulation in America, but in Japan there is not. So what we should do is to take action to the company – in Japan. But this is what Google issued, and it is difficult for us too. Only action in Japan is not effective, so I’m very, very concerned in America’s action as enough (inaudible). So do you – had you heard about enough --

SECRETARY KERRY: Enough? Yes, I know about Enough. Yes, I have heard about Enough. Well, look, I’m not going to step into the middle of Japanese politics today. (Laughter.) But I am going to say to you that you have power. And you’ve talked about one of the most powerful things in the world, which is the cellphone. People can communicate instantaneously. The revolution in Egypt came about because young people were texting on their cellphones and communicating and working through the social network and media, and that’s really – it was not a religious, ideological revolution. It was all about jobs and future. It was a generational revolution. Young people saying, “We want a future. We want our jobs. We want respect. We want dignity.”

The same thing is true of the fruit vendor who regrettably chose to light himself on fire as his moment of frustration and demonstration, but it was because he wasn’t being allowed to sell his fruit without harassment. So these are the great struggles. This is the great struggle, is sort of for individual voice within a governing process to be able to change things peacefully – through peaceful, nonviolent, democratic process, hopefully.

One of the great things you have in Japan, which makes this country so strong, is a vibrant democracy – very vibrant democracy. You can – all of you – get involved in it. I’m looking at the next – maybe not the next, but sometimes soon, prime minister here if you get active in this. (Laughter.) So it’s really important to feel the empowerment that comes with this, and I think that’s one of the good things that comes out of this program.

AMBASSADOR ROOS: Mr. Secretary, I’ve been getting the signal for the last --

SECRETARY KERRY: Right. Before you pull me out of here I want to make sure, is there anybody here who has something that you think is really important for me to hear before I leave, I have to hear. Okay. (Laughter.) I should invest? Okay.

PARTICIPANT: Hi. It’s nice to meet you.

SECRETARY KERRY: It’s nice to meet you.

PARTICIPANT: My name is Jill Romero, I’m from San Francisco, California. I go to school at Macalister College and I’m majoring in international studies in Japanese.


PARTICIPANT: And I’m spending one semester studying at (inaudible) university. I’m on the Gilman scholarship --

SECRETARY KERRY: So you’re American.

PARTICIPANT: I’m American.

SECRETARY KERRY: How many Americans are in this group? One, two, three, four – okay.

PARTICIPANT: So I’m spending my spring semester at (inaudible) university, studying at the school of international liberal arts. And I’m here on the Gilman scholarship, and it’s given by the U.S. Department of State, and it’s purpose is to let students of diverse backgrounds who are traditionally underrepresented in study abroad, and I would like to say I’m really honored to have this award. Because without it I don’t think my semester here would have happened.

SECRETARY KERRY: And I heard, somebody told me before – you’re taking a test for a Pickering Fellowship.

PARTICIPANT: Yes, that’s true. I’m doing --

SECRETARY KERRY: You’re taking the test tomorrow. Good luck.

PARTICIPANT: -- tomorrow. Please -- thank you so much. And yes, so I just wanted – it’s my second time here in Japan. My first time was three years ago, and (inaudible) another scholarship – a different scholarship at that time.

SECRETARY KERRY: That’s very exciting. Good.

PARTICIPANT: Yeah. My – I’m of Filipino heritage. My parents are from the Philippines. They came to America 30 years ago. And I was so excited to go but my mom was like – she was concerned because of the war – World War Two –


PARTICIPANT: Like it had complicated the relationship, like stereotypes. And she said, Jo be careful because the Japanese can be cruel. And I was really shocked at the statement, but I remember that she was born, like, not far after the war. So but then that wasn’t the case. So I said (inaudible) and his family treated me as their own. And on my last night, my host father said, like, (inaudible) Filipino words and it touched me a lot.

SECRETARY KERRY: That’s amazing.

PARTICIPANT: Yeah, so from that experience, I learned that young people – you can call them clean slates because I think in a way we don’t carry that burden. And I learned that no matter where you’re from, what ethnicity, what nationality, we can all become (inaudible) – we can all be friends.

SECRETARY KERRY: That’s a really, really important message – your message.

PARTICIPANT: Yeah, and I just ask for the U.S. to support programs like the Tomodachi initiative and keep on like providing scholarship that will let people from diverse backgrounds to come to --

SECRETARY KERRY: I’ll tell you what, when I go back to Washington tomorrow, and two days later I have to go testify before Congress about the budget, and when they ask me about our budget with respect to programs like this, I’m going to quote you. (Applause.) Because we do need them. And what you just said is a very, very important lesson. We are still fighting too many residual conflicts – or they’re frozen. Too many conflicts are frozen in place – some of them from way back at the end of World War Two or the Korean War or Vietnam or whatever. We have to move beyond those things.

And that’s the power and the exciting thing about this kind of a meeting is that you are a clean slate. You bring new thinking and a connectedness. Everybody’s connected (inaudible) other places in the world nowadays. And you can bring that to the table, which is a very, very important thing for all of us to be aware of. We can’t stay frozen in time and locked into old conflicts. And you’re really an example of that. So thank you very, very much.

You had a comment that I have to have before I go.

PARTICIPANT: Hello. My name is Kariko from (inaudible) university. I’m (inaudible) project with American Embassy and my university. We’re doing a project to support students who wants to start their own business as an entrepreneurship. I believe this study of entrepreneurship is very advanced in America, but in some regions in Japan the word entrepreneurship and entrepreneur isn’t (inaudible) – like not really known. And I think many students doesn’t get the idea of it --

SECRETARY KERRY: So entrepreneurship – there’s no word for that, you’re saying. There’s no word for entrepreneur?

PARTICIPANT: There are, but they just don’t know the word. Like, (inaudible).


PARTICIPANT: So I want the students to be more innovative and like trying to solve issues.

SECRETARY KERRY: Very good. What inspired you to do that? Why did you suddenly think you should do that?

PARTICIPANT: Because there is so many students – Japanese students – that has some issues in their minds. But as Riko mentions – mentioned – there are a lot of students that are very shy --

SECRETARY KERRY: And they don’t get a chance – they don’t have the automatic opportunity. Yeah.

PARTICIPANT: So they should have some ways to express their feelings and how can we solve the problems. So I want the students to be more familiar with that word.

SECRETARY KERRY: That’s great.

PARTICIPANT: I just wanted to – I want to know how students can be familiar – like, more like Americans?

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, I think that’s a great question. I think we – that’s a good thing for the Ambassador and all of us to think about in our diplomacy, in our outreach to you and to the country. That one of the things that I believe in that I’m going to be very much engaged in in the next month is economic diplomacy, where we are bringing the private sector to the table. In order to get the private sector to help us make things happen in certain countries. And I think there’s a synergy there. There’s a huge amount of energy that we could actually direct in certain places. In fact, this week, when I get back to Washington I made, I think I’m announcing something about that in a particular part of the world where we need to make some things happen. And so I think people would become more familiar with it.

But it’s interesting for me to hear you say it. It’s not that much in peoples’ consciousness because that reflects what kinds of choices people have. If it’s not in your consciousness, you don’t think about going off and doing that or being that necessarily. So it – I think – I do think we could do more and I intend to do more. One of the things I’m going to be doing in the next months also is we will – we’re going to be engaging in much more.

When I came into this job and I was doing my hearing before the Congress, I talked about how much of diplomacy and foreign policy today is economic policy. And I think we need to talk more about entrepreneurial activity, about being an entrepreneur, about what you can do to change the world. I mean, look at what, obviously, look at what’s happened with Facebook or with Google or with any number of technologies nowadays. Too often the story’s of somebody dropping out of college with an idea and going on to making it into something. We don’t want people to drop out of college to do it. (Laughter.) But it sort of needs to be in peoples’ imagination. And so I think we can do a better job of maybe putting that into our diplomatic initiatives. And I’ll take your idea back with me.

I’ve got to run out of here, guys.

AMBASSADOR ROOS: Mr. Secretary --

SECRETARY KERRY: Can I just say, I really appreciate very, very much everybody taking the time to be here. I want to congratulate each and every one of you on choosing to be part of Tomodachi. I think it’s wonderful. I hope you take this experience and go out and do whatever you want. And don’t ever be afraid of failing at something. Just go out and try it and try and make it happen, because we need your leadership.

In the span of a few minutes, we talked about all of these horrible difficult problems that need solutions. So unfortunately, there are enough problems out there. We need more people who are leaders who want to go out and make a difference, and I’m counting on you. Okay? Thank you.

PRN: 2013/03-16