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PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you so much. Arigatou. Thank you very
much. (Applause.) Good morning. It is a great honor to be in Tokyo --
the first stop on my first visit to Asia as President of the United
States. (Applause.) Thank you. It is good to be among so many of you
-- Japanese and I see a few Americans here -- (applause) -- who work
every day to strengthen the bonds between our two countries, including
my longtime friend and our new ambassador to Japan, John Roos.

It is wonderful to be back in Japan. Some of you may be aware that
when I was a young boy, my mother brought me to Kamakura, where I looked
up at that centuries-old symbol of peace and tranquility -- the great
bronze Amida Buddha. And as a child, I was more focused on the matcha
ice cream. (Laughter.) And I want to thank Prime Minister Hatoyama for
sharing some of those memories with more ice cream last night at dinner.
(Laughter and applause.) Thank you very much. But I have never
forgotten the warmth and the hospitality that the Japanese people showed
a young American far from home.

And I feel that same spirit on this visit: In the gracious welcome
of Prime Minister Hatoyama. In the extraordinary honor of the meeting
with Their Imperial Majesties, the Emperor and Empress, on the 20th
anniversary of his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne. In the
hospitality shown by the Japanese people. And of course, I could not
come here without sending my greetings and gratitude to the citizens of
Obama, Japan. (Applause.)

Now, I am beginning my journey here for a simple reason. Since
taking office, I have worked to renew American leadership and pursue a
new era of engagement with the world based on mutual interests and
mutual respect. And our efforts in the Asia Pacific will be rooted, in
no small measure, through an enduring and revitalized alliance between
the United States and Japan.

From my very first days in office, we have worked to strengthen the
ties that bind our nations. The first foreign leader that I welcomed to
the White House was the Prime Minister of Japan, and for the first time
in nearly 50 years, the first foreign trip by an American Secretary of
State, Hillary Clinton, was to Asia, starting in Japan. (Applause.)

In two months, our alliance will mark its 50th anniversary -- a
day when President Dwight Eisenhower stood next to Japan's Prime
Minister and said that our two nations were creating "an indestructible
partnership" based on "equality and mutual understanding."

In the half-century since, that alliance has endured as a
foundation for our security and prosperity. It has helped us become the
world's two largest economies, with Japan emerging as America's
second-largest trading partner outside of North America. It has evolved
as Japan has played a larger role on the world stage, and made important
contributions to stability around the world -- from reconstruction in
Iraq, to combating piracy off the Horn of Africa, to assistance for the
people of Afghanistan and Pakistan -- most recently through its
remarkable leadership in providing additional commitments to
international development efforts there.

Above all, our alliance has endured because it reflects our common
values -- a belief in the democratic right of free people to choose
their own leaders and realize their own dreams; a belief that made
possible the election of both Prime Minister Hatoyama and myself on the
promise of change. And together, we are committed to providing a new
generation of leadership for our people and our alliance.

That is why, at this critical moment in history, the two of us have
not only reaffirmed our alliance -- we've agreed to deepen it. We've
agreed to move expeditiously through a joint working group to implement
the agreement that our two governments reached on restructuring U.S.
forces in Okinawa. And as our alliance evolves and adapts for the
future, we will always strive to uphold the spirit that President
Eisenhower described long ago -- a partnership of equality and mutual
respect. (Applause.)

But while our commitment to this region begins in Japan, it doesn't
end here. The United States of America may have started as a series of
ports and cities along the Atlantic Ocean, but for generations we have
also been a nation of the Pacific. Asia and the United States are not
separated by this great ocean; we are bound by it. We are bound by our
past -- by the Asian immigrants who helped build America, and the
generations of Americans in uniform who served and sacrificed to keep
this region secure and free. We are bound by our shared prosperity --
by the trade and commerce upon which millions of jobs and families
depend. And we are bound by our people -- by the Asian Americans who
enrich every segment of American life, and all the people whose lives,
like our countries, are interwoven.

My own life is a part of that story. I am an American President
who was born in Hawaii and lived in Indonesia as a boy. My sister Maya
was born in Jakarta, and later married a Chinese-Canadian. My mother
spent nearly a decade working in the villages of Southeast Asia, helping
women buy a sewing machine or an education that might give them a
foothold in the world economy. So the Pacific Rim has helped shape my
view of the world.

And since that time, perhaps no region has changed as swiftly or
dramatically. Controlled economies have given way to open markets.
Dictatorships have become democracies. Living standards have risen
while poverty has plummeted. And through all these changes, the
fortunes of America and the Asia Pacific have become more closely linked
than ever before.

So I want everyone to know, and I want everybody in America to
know, that we have a stake in the future of this region, because what
happens here has a direct effect on our lives at home. This is where we
engage in much of our commerce and buy many of our goods. And this is
where we can export more of our own products and create jobs back home
in the process. This is a place where the risk of a nuclear arms race
threatens the security of the wider world, and where extremists who
defile a great religion plan attacks on both our continents. And there
can be no solution to our energy security and our climate challenge
without the rising powers and developing nations of the Asia Pacific.

To meet these common challenges, the United States looks to
strengthen old alliances and build new partnerships with the nations of
this region. To do this, we look to America's treaty alliances with
Japan, South Korea, Australia, Thailand and the Philippines -- alliances
that are not historical documents from a bygone era, but abiding
commitments to each other that are fundamental to our shared security.

These alliances continue to provide the bedrock of security and
stability that has allowed the nations and peoples of this region to
pursue opportunity and prosperity that was unimaginable at the time of
my first childhood visit to Japan. And even as American troops are
engaged in two wars around the world, our commitment to Japan's security
and to Asia's security is unshakeable -- (applause) -- and it can be
seen in our deployments throughout the region -- above all, through our
young men and women in uniform, of whom I am so proud.

Now, we look to emerging nations that are poised as well to play a
larger role -- both in the Asia Pacific region and the wider world;
places like Indonesia and Malaysia that have adopted democracy,
developed their economies, and tapped the great potential of their own

We look to rising powers with the view that in the 21st century,
the national security and economic growth of one country need not come
at the expense of another. I know there are many who question how the
United States perceives China's emergence. But as I have said, in an
interconnected world, power does not need to be a zero-sum game, and
nations need not fear the success of another. Cultivating spheres of
cooperation -- not competing spheres of influence -- will lead to
progress in the Asia Pacific. (Applause.)

Now, as with any nation, America will approach China with a focus
on our interests. And it's precisely for this reason that it is
important to pursue pragmatic cooperation with China on issues of mutual
concern, because no one nation can meet the challenges of the 21st
century alone, and the United States and China will both be better off
when we are able to meet them together. That's why we welcome China's
effort to play a greater role on the world stage -- a role in which
their growing economy is joined by growing responsibility. China's
partnership has proved critical in our effort to jumpstart economic
recovery. China has promoted security and stability in Afghanistan and
Pakistan. And it is now committed to the global nonproliferation
regime, and supporting the pursuit of denuclearization of the Korean

So the United States does not seek to contain China, nor does a
deeper relationship with China mean a weakening of our bilateral
alliances. On the contrary, the rise of a strong, prosperous China can
be a source of strength for the community of nations.

And so in Beijing and beyond, we will work to deepen our strategic
and economic dialogue, and improve communication between our militaries.
Of course, we will not agree on every issue, and the United States will
never waver in speaking up for the fundamental values that we hold dear
-- and that includes respect for the religion and cultures of all people
-- because support for human rights and human dignity is ingrained in
America. But we can move these discussions forward in a spirit of
partnership rather than rancor.

In addition to our bilateral relations, we also believe that the
growth of multilateral organizations can advance the security and
prosperity of this region. I know that the United States has been
disengaged from many of these organizations in recent years. So let me
be clear: Those days have passed. As a Asia Pacific nation, the United
States expects to be involved in the discussions that shape the future
of this region, and to participate fully in appropriate organizations as
they are established and evolve. (Applause.)

That is the work that I will begin on this trip. The Asia Pacific
Economic Cooperation forum will continue to promote regional commerce
and prosperity, and I look forward to participating in that forum this
evening. ASEAN will remain a catalyst for Southeast Asian dialogue,
cooperation and security, and I look forward to becoming the first
American President to meet with all 10 ASEAN leaders. (Applause.) And
the United States looks forward to engaging with the East Asia Summit
more formally as it plays a role in addressing the challenges of our

We seek this deeper and broader engagement because we know our
collective future depends on it. And I'd like to speak for a bit about
what that future might look like, and what we must do to advance our
prosperity, our security, and our universal values and aspirations.

First, we must strengthen our economic recovery, and pursue growth
that is both balanced and sustained.

The quick, unprecedented and coordinated action taken by Asia
Pacific nations and others has averted economic catastrophe, and helped
us to begin to emerge from the worst recession in generations. And we
have taken the historic step of reforming our international economic
architecture, so that the G20 is now the premier forum for international
economic cooperation.

Now, this shift to the G20, along with the greater voice that is
being given to Asian nations in international financial institutions,
clearly demonstrates the broader, more inclusive engagement that America
seeks in the 21st century. And as a key member of the G8, Japan has and
will continue to play a leading and vital role in shaping the future of
the international financial architecture. (Applause.)

Now that we are on the brink of economic recovery, we must also
ensure that it can be sustained. We simply cannot return to the same
cycles of boom and bust that led to a global recession. We can't follow
the same policies that led to such imbalanced growth. One of the
important lessons this recession has taught us is the limits of
depending primarily on American consumers and Asian exports to drive
growth -- because when Americans found themselves too heavily in debt or
lost their jobs and were out of work, demand for Asian goods plummeted.
When demand fell sharply, exports from this region fell sharply. Since
the economies of this region are so dependent on exports, they stopped
growing. And the global recession only deepened.

So we have now reached one of those rare inflection points in
history where we have the opportunity to take a different path. And
that must begin with the G20 pledge that we made in Pittsburgh to pursue
a new strategy for balanced economic growth.

I'll be saying more about this in Singapore, but in the United
States, this new strategy will mean that we save more and spend less,
reform our financial systems, reduce our long-term deficit and
borrowing. It will also mean a greater emphasis on exports that we can
build, produce, and sell all over the world. For America, this is a jobs
strategy. Right now, our exports support millions upon millions of
well-paying American jobs. Increasing those exports by just a small
amount has the potential to create millions more. These are jobs making
everything from wind turbines and solar panels to the technology that
you use every day.

For Asia, striking this better balance will provide an opportunity
for workers and consumers to enjoy higher standards of living that their
remarkable increases in productivity have made possible. It will allow
for greater investments in housing and infrastructure and the service
sector. And a more balanced global economy will lead to prosperity that
reaches further and deeper.

For decades, the United States has had one of the most open markets
in the world, and that openness has helped to fuel the success of so
many countries in this region and others over the last century. In this
new era, opening other markets around the globe will be critical not
just to America's prosperity, but to the world's, as well.

An integral part of this new strategy is working towards an
ambitious and balanced Doha agreement -- not any agreement, but an
agreement that will open up markets and increase exports around the
world. We are ready to work with our Asian partners to see if we can
achieve that objective in a timely fashion -- and we invite our regional
trading partners to join us at the table.

We also believe that continued integration of the economies of this
region will benefit workers, consumers, and businesses in all our
nations. Together, with our South Korean friends, we will work through
the issues necessary to move forward on a trade agreement with them.
The United States will also be engaging with the Trans-Pacific
Partnership countries with the goal of shaping a regional agreement that
will have broad-based membership and the high standards worthy of a 21st
century trade agreement.

Working in partnership, this is how we can sustain this recovery
and advance our common prosperity. But it's not enough to pursue growth
that is balanced. We also need growth that is sustainable -- for our
planet and the future generations that will live here.

Already, the United States has taken more steps to combat climate
change in 10 months than we have in our recent history -- (applause) --
by embracing the latest science, by investing in new energy, by raising
efficiency standards, forging new partnerships, and engaging in
international climate negotiations. In short, America knows there is
more work to do -- but we are meeting our responsibility, and will
continue to do so.

And that includes striving for success in Copenhagen. I have no
illusions that this will be easy, but the contours of a way forward are
clear. All nations must accept their responsibility. Those nations,
like my own, who have been the leading emitters must have clear
reduction targets. Developing countries will need to take substantial
actions to curb their emissions, aided by finance and technology. And
there must be transparency and accountability for domestic actions.

Each of us must do what we can to grow our economies without
endangering our planet -- and we must do it together. But the good news
is that if we put the right rules and incentives in place, it will
unleash the creative power of our best scientists, engineers, and
entrepreneurs. It will lead to new jobs, new businesses, and entire new
industries. And Japan has been at the forefront on this issue. We are
looking forward to being a important partner with you as we achieve this
critical global goal. (Applause.)

Yet, even as we confront this challenge of the 21st century, we
must also redouble our efforts to meet a threat to our security that is
the legacy of the 20th century -- the danger posed by nuclear weapons.

In Prague, I affirmed America's commitment to rid the world of
nuclear weapons, and laid out a comprehensive agenda to pursue this
goal. (Applause.) I am pleased that Japan has joined us in this
effort, for no two nations on Earth know better what these weapons can
do, and together we must seek a future without them. This is fundamental
to our common security, and this is a great test of our common humanity.
Our very future hangs in the balance.

Now, let me be clear: So long as these weapons exist, the United
States will maintain a strong and effective nuclear deterrent that
guarantees the defense of our allies -- including South Korea and Japan.

But we must recognize that an escalating nuclear arms race in this
region would undermine decades of growth and prosperity. So we are
called upon to uphold the basic bargain of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty -- that all nations have a right to peaceful nuclear energy; that
nations with nuclear weapons have a responsibility to move toward
nuclear disarmament; and those without nuclear weapons have a
responsibility to forsake them.

Indeed, Japan serves as an example to the world that true peace and
power can be achieved by taking this path. (Applause.) For decades,
Japan has enjoyed the benefits of peaceful nuclear energy, while
rejecting nuclear arms development -- and by any measure, this has
increased Japan's security and enhanced its position.

To meet our responsibilities and to move forward with the agenda I
laid out in Prague, we have passed, with the help of Japan, a unanimous
U.N. Security Council resolution embracing this international effort.
We are pursuing a new agreement with Russia to reduce our nuclear
stockpiles. We will work to ratify and bring into force the test ban
treaty. (Applause.) And next year at our Nuclear Security Summit, we
will advance our goal of securing all the world's vulnerable nuclear
materials within four years.

Now, as I've said before, strengthening the global nonproliferation
regime is not about singling out any individual nations. It's about all
nations living up to their responsibilities. That includes the Islamic
Republic of Iran. And it includes North Korea.

For decades, North Korea has chosen a path of confrontation and
provocation, including the pursuit of nuclear weapons. It should be
clear where this path leads. We have tightened sanctions on Pyongyang.
We have passed the most sweeping U.N. Security Council resolution to
date to restrict their weapons of mass destruction activities. We will
not be cowed by threats, and we will continue to send a clear message
through our actions, and not just our words: North Korea's refusal to
meet its international obligations will lead only to less security --
not more.

Yet there is another path that can be taken. Working in tandem
with our partners -- supported by direct diplomacy -- the United States
is prepared to offer North Korea a different future. Instead of an
isolation that has compounded the horrific repression of its own people,
North Korea could have a future of international integration. Instead
of gripping poverty, it could have a future of economic opportunity --
where trade and investment and tourism can offer the North Korean
people the chance at a better life. And instead of increasing
insecurity, it could have a future of greater security and respect.
This respect cannot be earned through belligerence. It must be reached
by a nation that takes its place in the international community by fully
living up to its international obligations.

So the path for North Korea to realize this future is clear: a
return to the six-party talks; upholding previous commitments, including
a return to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty; and the full and
verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. And full
normalization with its neighbors can also only come if Japanese families
receive a full accounting of those who have been abducted. (Applause.)
These are all steps that can be taken by the North Korean government if
they are interested in improving the lives of their people and joining
the community of nations.

And as we are vigilant in confronting this challenge, we will stand
with all of our Asian partners in combating the transnational threats of
the 21st century: by rooting out the extremists who slaughter the
innocent, and stopping the piracy that threatens our sea lanes; by
enhancing our efforts to stop infectious disease, and working to end
extreme poverty in our time; and by shutting down the traffickers who
exploit women, children and migrants, and putting a stop to this scourge
of modern-day slavery once and for all. Indeed, the final area in which
we must work together is in upholding the fundamental rights and dignity
of all human beings.

The Asia Pacific region is rich with many cultures. It is marked
by extraordinary traditions and strong national histories. And time and
again, we have seen the remarkable talent and drive of the peoples of
this region in advancing human progress. Yet this much is also clear --
indigenous cultures and economic growth have not been stymied by respect
for human rights; they have been strengthened by it. Supporting human
rights provides lasting security that cannot be purchased in any other
way -- that is the story that can be seen in Japan's democracy, just as
it can be seen in America's democracy.

The longing for liberty and dignity is a part of the story of all
peoples. For there are certain aspirations that human beings hold in
common: the freedom to speak your mind, and choose your leaders; the
ability to access information, and worship how you please; confidence in
the rule of law, and the equal administration of justice. These are not
impediments to stability, they are the cornerstones of stability. And
we will always stand on the side of those who seek these rights.

That truth, for example, guides our new approach to Burma. Despite
years of good intentions, neither sanctions by the United States nor
engagement by others succeeded in improving the lives of the Burmese
people. So we are now communicating directly with the leadership to
make it clear that existing sanctions will remain until there are
concrete steps toward democratic reform. We support a Burma that is
unified, peaceful, prosperous, and democratic. And as Burma moves in
that direction, a better relationship with the United States is

There are clear steps that must be taken -- the unconditional
release of all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi; an end
to conflicts with minority groups; and a genuine dialogue between the
government, the democratic opposition and minority groups on a shared
vision for the future. That is how a government in Burma will be able to
respond to the needs of its people. That is the path that will bring
Burma true security and prosperity. (Applause.)

These are steps that the United States will take to improve
prosperity, security, and human dignity in the Asia Pacific. We will do
so through our close friendship with Japan -- which will always be a
centerpiece of our efforts in the region. We will do so as a partner --
through the broader engagement that I've discussed today. We will do so
as a Pacific nation -- with a President who was shaped in part by this
piece of the globe. And we will do so with the same sense of purpose
that has guided our ties with the Japanese people for nearly 50 years.

The story of how these ties were forged dates back to the middle of
the last century, sometime after the guns of war had quieted in the
Pacific. It was then that America's commitment to the security and
stability of Japan, along with the Japanese peoples' spirit of
resilience and industriousness, led to what's been called "the Japanese
miracle" -- a period of economic growth that was faster and more robust
than anything the world had seen for some time.

In the coming years and decades, this miracle would spread
throughout the region, and in a single generation the lives and fortunes
of millions were forever changed for the better. It is progress that
has been supported by a hard-earned peace, and strengthened by new
bridges of mutual understanding that have bound together the nations of
this vast and sprawling space.

But we know that there's still work to be done -- so that new
breakthroughs in science and technology can lead to jobs on both sides
of the Pacific, and security from a warming planet; so that we can
reverse the spread of deadly weapons, and -- on a divided peninsula --
the people of South can be freed from fear, and those in the North can
live free from want; so that a young girl can be valued not for her body
but for her mind; and so that young people everywhere can go as far as
their talent and their drive and their choices will take them.

None of this will come easy, nor without setback or struggle. But
at this moment of renewal -- in this land of miracles -- history tells
us it is possible. This is the --America's agenda. This is the purpose
of our partnership with Japan, and with the nations and peoples of this
region. And there must be no doubt: As America's first Pacific
President, I promise you that this Pacific nation will strengthen and
sustain our leadership in this vitally important part of the world.

Thank you very much. (Applause.)



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