New U.S. ambassador: Alliance with Japan ‘a beacon of endless possibility and promise’
17:01 JST, January 25, 2022
New U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel stressed the importance of the U.S.-Japan alliance as “a beacon of endless possibility and promise” in the Indo-Pacific region, in a video message released on the U.S. Embassy’s website Tuesday.
“For more than 60 years, the partnership between the United States and Japan has promoted peace and prosperity in a free and open Indo-Pacific,” he said, stressing the uniqueness of the bilateral relationship in which the two nations “grew from bitter foes to the best of friends.”
In an apparent reference to authoritarian regimes in countries such as China and Russia, Emanuel said: “Strong men and skeptics are using a modus operandi of conquering through division. Their aggressive actions threaten the democratic rules-based order.”
“Today, we face a critical juncture,” Emanuel said. “But our nations can confront common challenges, united in the belief of our shared values, our shared interests and our shared goals.” He stressed that cooperation between Japan and the United States will “determine the destiny of the democratic example.”
“Our two nations will not shy away from any challenge or any adversary who undermines those values. What we do in partnership over the next three years will decide America and Japan’s posture for the next 30 years,” he said.
Emanuel arrived to Tokyo with his wife Amy Rule on Sunday. He released the video because he was unable to hold a traditional press conference at the airport upon arrival, due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
He also highlighted his close relationship with President Joe Biden in the video, saying, “I’m proud to call him a dear friend.” After reviewing his roles in the administrations of former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, as well as his work as the mayor of Chicago, he stressed: “In each of my experiences, I’ve worked with President Biden. I’ve known the president for a long time.”
Emanuel further emphasized his commitment to public service by describing his family background. His mother was a nurse and a civil rights organizer, while his father immigrated from Israel and started a pediatric practice in the United States. He said “their values and dreams” inspired him to pursue public service.
“I’m not shy,” he declared, and called for cooperation from the Japanese people, saying, “Let’s get to work.”
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