Hillary Clinton for Strong U.S.-Japan Relations

The U.S. and Japan must focus on developing entrepreneurial ideas and implementing innovative solutions to remain globally competitive. By collaborating in areas such as clean energy, education and non-profit sector building, the U.S. and Japan can serve as global leaders in these fields.

Top subject experts in these areas addressed a gathering of more than 300 people at the 2011 U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference – INNOVATE, EDUCATE, COLLABORATE: Moving Forward the U.S.-Japan Partnership. It was announced Friday, Oct. 7, by the U.S.-Japan Council.

Forging strong public-private partnerships has emerged as a successful strategy for stimulating entrepreneurial collaboration, and supporting Japan during the rebuilding process.

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton traveled to Japan weeks after the earthquake and tsunami to announce the creation of a public-private partnership for reconstruction.

At the 2011 U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference, Clinton emphasized the multitude of ties between the U.S. and Japan.

“Our strongest relationships have not lived only in the halls of power; they live in the hearts and minds of the American and Japanese people not just in some cold assessment of our common interests, but in the warmth of common experiences, family ties, friendships, and the common values that bind us together,” said Clinton.

“Ten years ago, as a Senator from New York, I saw firsthand what our friendship meant,” she continued. “When Japan sent firefighters from 7,000 miles away to help with the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, I was moved, but I wasn’t surprised. That’s just the kind of friend that Japan is to America and to many countries around the world.”

The U.S. response to the March 11th earthquake and tsunami re-solidified the importance of the U.S.- Japan partnership. In the aftermath, Japanese NPOs and NGOs were asked to respond to large-scale domestic disasters.

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The U.S.-Japan Council has since expanded its role to supporting partnerships between U.S. and Japanese NPOs and NGOs.

Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. President Yasuchika Hasegawa and Rakuten, Inc. Chairman & CEO Hiroshi Mikitani also spoke.

The next step for the U.S.-Japan Council is to move forward with TOMODACHI, a partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo led by Ambassador John V. Roos.

TOMODACHI brings together the best of public and private resources from the U.S. and Japan to ensure sustained partnership that supports Japan’s long-term recovery and global competitiveness.

The U.S.-Japan Council is a non-profit organization that promotes people-to-people relationships as crucial to maintaining strong U.S.-Japan relations.

In the picture above: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the 2011 U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference.

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Rakesh Raman