Secretary of State John Kerry And Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida Before Their Meeting

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Grand Prince Hotel
Hiroshima, Japan
April 10, 2016

FOREIGN MINISTER KISHIDA: (Via interpreter) I believe it is very meaningful to hold the G7 foreign ministers meeting in Hiroshima, and today is a historic day, since I will be visiting the Peace Memorial Park with Secretary Kerry and other G7 foreign ministers. I want to send a strong message towards peace to the world for this time.

And on this occasion, I would like to present to you a replica of diplomatic documents that we will donate to the U.S. Diplomacy Center, including a diplomatic letter from President Lincoln to Tokugawa shogun Iemochi. I hope that this will symbolize long history of Japan and the U.S., in which we have established a robust alliance.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you very, very much.

FOREIGN MINISTER KISHIDA: From President Lincoln to the shogun.

(Inaudible portion)

SECRETARY KERRY: I see. It’s a beautiful watch. Well, thank you. Fumio, thank you very, very much for the extraordinarily generous welcome here to Hiroshima. And I’m particularly happy to be here because it is my friend Fumio’s home town that he represents, but also because, obviously, my visit to Hiroshima has very special meaning about the strength of the relationship and the journey that we have traveled together since the difficult times of the war.

So I will be pleased to visit later today the Peace Memorial Park with Fumio and with our other ministers in a moment that I hope will underscore to the world the importance of peace and the importance of strong allies working together to make the world safer and, ultimately, we hope to be able to rid the world of weapons of mass destruction. And while we will revisit the past and honor those who perished, this trip is not about the past; it’s about the present and the future particularly, and the strength of the relationship that we have built, the friendship that we share, the strength of our alliance, and the strong reminder of the imperative we all have to work for peace for peoples everywhere. And I thank Japan for being a very strong ally and an important international, global player in the effort to bring about peace. Japan’s role has been significant on Ebola, Afghanistan, Syria, human rights, and we’re very appreciative and we will continue to work together as friends.

Arigato. Thank you.