Secretary Clinton: U.S. Strengthens Pacific Partnerships

February 16, 2009
Dignitaries Greet Secretary Clinton Upon Her Arrival to Tokyo

About the Author: Hillary Rodham Clinton serves as the U.S. Secretary of State.

I am delighted to post my first entry to the DipNote community upon arriving in Tokyo, the first stop on my first trip as Secretary of State.

In addition to Tokyo, I will also be visiting Jakarta, Seoul, and Beijing this week where I hope to demonstrate America's sincere intention to develop broader and deeper relationships with nations throughout Asia and the Pacific.

Over the past 30 years, I've had the privilege of traveling to a very different Asia. Today, Asia is on the cutting edge of so many of the world's innovations and trends. In making my first trip as Secretary of State to Asia, I hope to signal that we need strong partners across the Pacific, just as we need strong partners across the Atlantic. I have become fond of saying that America is as much a transpacific power as it is a transatlantic one.

The Obama Administration believes that the futures of the United States, countries in Asia and around the world are increasingly inextricably linked. As you may know, I spoke from the Asia Society in New York City on Friday afternoon where I outlined the opportunities that I see for stronger bilateral, regional, and global cooperation and ongoing collaboration to deal with the economic crisis, to strengthen our alliances, to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and to build on efforts to face challenges like climate change, clean energy, pandemic healthcare crises and so much more.

As I've said before, America cannot solve the problems of the world alone, and the world cannot solve them without America. A Chinese aphorism says, "When you are in a common boat, you need to cross the river peacefully together." The wisdom of that aphorism must guide us today.

During my travels, I intend to take advantage of new social media tools so the State Department can share its diplomatic work with a broader audience. I invite you to use these tools and become a part of this conversation. Be sure and visit DipNote throughout the week for updates from the trip. If you have questions for me during my trip and beyond – send me a question through the newly launched Ask the Secretary feature at www.state.gov.

Comments

Comments

Tommye J.
|
Texas, USA
February 18, 2009

Tommye Jean in Texas writes:

Madame Secretary and My Fellow Eighteen Million,

Today, Feb 18, 2009, Chris Matthews just gave a stunning and beautiful testimonial to Madame Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton for all of her past contributions to this country, for her run for the Senate, for the Presidency, and for the outstanding representation of our country in Asia as Secretary Of State. He gave her his "Hardball Award" for today, with a personal note of his own past misjudgements and his realization of her smarts, moxie, courage, and grace.

World Peace is possible!

We love you, Madame Secretary.

Irene
|
New York, USA
February 19, 2009

Irene in New York writes:

We have a U.S./Russian commission, and for the past few years the Russians are not cooperating with us. Can you help?

Susan
|
California, USA
February 19, 2009

Susan in California writes:

While Clinton is in Seoul, maybe she can talk about getting American and South Korean POWs back from North Korea with the South Koreans. They've had 10 elderly POWs walk across the border last year. Where are OUR troops and what will you do about it?

Leslie
|
Oregon, USA
February 19, 2009

Leslie in Oregon writes:

I echo the fine sentiments already posted. The U.S.A.'s 8-year "service interruption" is over! Thank you for your persistence, graciousness, and continuous efforts to restore our great nation to respectability. Keep up the good work.

Meseret
|
Virginia, USA
February 19, 2009

Meseret in Virginia writes:

Dear Madame Secretary:

Congratulations on your first trip representing our country. You continue to impress your fellow Americans as well as the International community.

God Bless.

Katrin
|
Canada
February 19, 2009

Katrin in Canada writes:

Hillary - I know the Sec of State is supposed to interact with the nations of the world, but is it possible you are creating a brand new postion, to suit the 3rd Millenia - as Earth Ambassador? Of course, you are representing America - but it seems that foremost, you are representing Humanity. By understanding it. And by knowing that repairing the disconstructs and inequalities of the previous millenia needs the needle and triple-thread of truth, hardwork, and good deeds. Not the rigid staples of ideological words that we are used to.

Well, that's what it seems like - if you're not an Earth Ambassador, you sure are a good actor! Good luck with the repair job, good start so far - and the website is great! Try to find some time for fun visits - can you make Vancouver 2010 Olympics? Pretend we have a crisis here or something that you need to sort out ... book yourself for some peaceful criss-cross skiing.

Mary
|
California, USA
February 19, 2009

Mary in California writes:

Hillary - just a note to say you are making us proud. I saw all the pictures from Japan yesterday, I haven;t seen any from Indonesia yet. BTW, your responses to North Korea's saber rattling were right on. I listened to every word you said. You made it clear, and your intonaton was firm. The message was clear "don't mess with us, we mean business",

Nancy
|
California, USA
February 19, 2009

Nancy in California writes:

Thank You Hillary for everything you are doing and have done for our country! You are my sHero!!

I was surprised to see the protesters in Indonesia upon your arrival. The Indonesian people are some of the warmest and friendliest I have ever met in my travels and it will take time to undo all the damage caused by the Bush Administration, but surely they will see that you and President Obama are reaching out to them and to the Muslim world to, hopefully, strengthen our relationship and offer them opportunities to improve their lives.

I'm so glad to see these videos and photos of your trip, Thank You for keeping us all posted.

I know your job is mostly International now, but I hope you will make it back to San Diego someday soon, so I will have another opportunity to see you.

Marnie
|
New York, USA
February 19, 2009

Marnie in New York writes:

Hillary, I've been behind you every step of the way and continue to appreciate your hard work for our country! You are the life raft America needs! Bless you!

Mark D.
|
Guam
February 19, 2009

Mark in Guam writes:

Hafa Adai Madam Secretary Clinton,

As you and your husband, the former President, are good friends of Guam, we welcome you to Asia and we hope that before you return to Washington, that you make a brief stop on our island of Guam to discuss the move of U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam and other issues pending in the U.S. Congress such as war reparations, political status and compact impact reimbursement.

I wish you much success during your tenure as Secretary of State.

yeonji
|
South Korea
February 19, 2009

Yeonji in South Korea writes:

Welcome to Seoul!

I'm so glad to having you in my county. I believe that you can build closer relationship with Asian countries.

Jon
|
Japan
February 19, 2009

Jon in Japan writes:

You are in Japan to strengthen relations between the two countries? Then please answer me this, why don't American citizens have the option to obtain a "Holiday Working Visa" with Japan, like Australia, Canada, New Zealand, etc.? I am in Japan on a tourist visa to learn japanese and gain a better understanding professional about to Japan, so that when I return back to the U.S. I can use the knowledge obtained to improve busniess standards between the two countries. But, I can't work here with that visa because it is illegal...The only option I have it to become a english teacher so that the company hiring me will sponsor me for a working visa This needs to be fixed Secretary. Thank you

takumi
|
Japan
February 19, 2009

Takumi in Japan writes:

We apreciate her first visite to our country Japan,and also first meeting our Prime Minister Aso at first.

Thank you so much.

Melissa M.
|
Japan
February 19, 2009

Melissa in Japan writes:

What do you think of the current administration in Japan? Next month, all Japanese government workers will be shuffled. It is a normal procedure where government employees are picked out of their current position and put in another and possibly completely unrelated department with just a weeks notice. No time to prepare their successor for taking over their tasks, and no time to learn their predecessors job. Likewise, the Japanese prime minister has changed 4 times over the past 3 years. Do you think America can maintain strong relations with an administration that is so unstable?

J. L.
|
New York, USA
February 19, 2009

Robert in New York writes:

Please work toward the fullest possible accounting of Korean War POW/MIA and the resumption of joint recovery operations in North Korea to recover Amerian war dead.

Finally, after 56 years, please work toward a Korean War Peace Treaty to end the war.

Lois
|
Virginia, USA
February 20, 2009

Lois in Virginia writes:

Madam Secretary, In your travels, please do not forget the MIA's from WWII, Korea/Cold War and Vietnam. Many are still recoverable in Asia and we need the Countries help in finding them and recovering their remains. I have a brother MIA in the Philippine Islands since March 7, 1945. He and his crew are recoverable if we can get the Philippine Governments help. Mrs. Clinton, thank you for being there. Your service to this nation is very much appreciated and respected. Lois

Janeat
|
South Carolina, USA
February 20, 2009

Janet in South Carolina writes:

Just a personal note to you. You looked gorgeous on your trip to Japan.

I am so proud that you are Secretary of State. I am a former employee of NFATC and worked in the budget office. I worked for State during Reagan, Bush, Clinton and W. I can honestly say that we were much more efficient with our money when President Clinton was in office.

Thank you for your commitment to improve our relationships around the world. My prayers are with you.

Sincerely, Janet

Shane
|
District Of Columbia, USA
February 20, 2009

Shane in Washington, DC writes:

I can't stop reading these posts about the Secretary's first trip! Please keep these up. Even in these crazy times, I have such a sense of optimism about the future, especially with the extraordinary representation we now have at the State Department. You have given us all a reason to be proud of our country again. Americans really do want to connect with people around the world in order to make them realize that we are not all evil, greedy people and we care about their livelihood as well. Great job!!

Joanne R.
|
Oregon, USA
February 20, 2009

Joanne in Oregon writes:

Thank you for writing on this blog. While I understand that this is not what one would think of as a traditional venue for the Secretary of Sate to communicate with the people of the United States, you have no idea how much I, and many others, appreciate what you're doing with regard to accessability and transparency in your work.

Kudos to you and the rest of the Obama/Biden administration for encouraging this type of openness in government. Perhaps if we had had more of this in the past we wouldn't be in the position we're in now.

Jayme
|
Nevada, USA
February 20, 2009

Jayne in Nevada writes:

Congratulations Madame Secretary on your appointment as Secretary of State. I know you and your staff will make great strides in restoring America's image around the world. I think you are off to a great start. Enjoy the rest of this trip and the many more to come!

Oky
|
Indonesia
February 21, 2009

Oky in Indonesia writes:

Welcome to Indonesia Madame Secretary!

Amazonia
|
California, USA
February 21, 2009

Amazonia in California writes:

Hillary Rodham Clinton forever!

Very proud of you and your work in our behalf Madam Secretary of State.

Thanks for providing this site to keep in touch and "follow you along" on the trip to Asia.

Madelyn
|
Florida, USA
February 22, 2009

Madelyn in Florida writes:

Madame Secretary:

Thank you for this personal blog. It is exciting to read about your journey in Asia. We are so proud of you!

And that coat...everyone wants one.

Ken
|
Japan
February 22, 2009

Ken in Japan writes:

Dear Madame Secretary: Congratulations for your first great job to the world. You and your staff must be facing with many of tough times. However, all effort will be reaching to the great result in the future.

Really hoping "Laugh, and the world laughs with you." Please take care.

ashishkumar
|
India
February 22, 2009

Ashishkumar in India writes:

Madam: U.S.A. became special for India and many people in India think that your husband made it possible. There is so much of love, warmth and respect for the U.S. here that most of the members in your cabinet might as well win election in India perhaps more comfortably than in U.S. As U.S. and India both are facing economic downturn, I am confident if not sure that this will bring our two nations together and you will play a major role in this. Regards.

Keith Q.
|
California, USA
February 22, 2009

Keith in California writes:

Dear Secretary of State Clinton,

I was dismayed to here that you are uninterested in human rights in China. I see this a going back to the Republican agenda of putting money and profit ahead of human dignity and human rights.

I really expected something different from our State Department.

Ernesto
February 23, 2009

Ernesto writes:

Madam Secretary,

I am dismayed by the comment Keith in California. He is obviously unaware that your comments were taken out of context and feels that knee-jerk reactions are the way to get a point across. Oh well. I understand what you said and what you meant...and more importantly, I understand the gravity of what you are undertaking. Please focus on the task at hand and let us citizens handle people like Keith. As always, good luck on all your endeavors serving our country.

Ken O.
|
Japan
February 23, 2009

Ken O. in Japan writes:

Hello Mrs. Clinton,

My name is Ken and I am an American Christian Missionary serving in Japan. Our Lord, Jesus Christ, has given me the privilege of serving as a principal of a K-12 Christian School, and has enabled me to serve as an Associate Pastor at the largest Japanese Christian Church in this country. Thank you for making Japan a priority in U.S.-Pacific diplomatic relations.

The people of Japan are thankful for your concern about their beloved sons and daughters who have been kidnapped by our neighbors in North Korea, and we are anticipating that your involvement will help to bring a resolution to this unfortunate tragedy.

One thing that highly concerned the Japanese Christian community was your visit to the Meiji Shrine. I share this concern as well. Your comments suggest that the visit was made as a goodwill gesture, and never intended to be a true act of worship. Perhaps, Americans feel that acknowledging Japan's historical Shintoist ideals will give Japan a sense of national pride, but nothing will be a greater danger for Japan and her Asian neighbors, than Shintoist nationalism. It is what led her to destruction only 2 generations before.

I am not sure what the Japanese diplomats and media have said to you; but please make no mistake about the perception that you have given to the Japanese people.

A Christian leader from the most powerful nation in the world has bowed down and worshiped the idol of the former Japanese Meiji Emperor, and has acknowledged that Christ and Meiji are of equal authority. I'm sure that you noticed the seriousness with which the priests engaged the ceremony, to them it is not just a cultural tradition.

When former President Bush performed the same rituals at the Meiji Shrine in 2002, there was an outrage among Christians in Japan. Some 60 to 70 years ago the Christian population in Japan was very small (because of our ineffective ministry here in Japan, the numbers still remain small today -- forgive us Lord), but the Shinto religion in the name of the Emperor deities (idols) of Japan persecuted our Christian fathers and mothers.

My Senior Pastor, Dr. Okawa's parents were criminalized and imprisoned for being Christians. Many of his father's friends were martyred for their faith. In those days, American Missionaries taught our grand parents from the Bible that deifying the Japanese Emperor was idol worship. They encouraged our parents and grand parents to stand firm in Christ at all costs.

For some of our grand parents the cost was their lives. The Japanese government under the name of Shintoism performed similar atrocities in other Asian nations like Korea. Because of this historical precedent your visit to the Meiji Shrine has brought a feeling of outrage and betrayal among the Christians here in Japan.

Our Korean Ministerial allies feel the same outrage concerning your visit to the Meiji Shrine as do Chinese and Philippino Christians that have befriended our ministry.

Mrs. Secretary of State, I know you never intended to alienate your Christian brothers and sisters and friends in Japan, but if I may say so, there are other ways to show that America values her relationship with Japan. Please know that we love you and that we are praying for you.

Please do not forget those who serve the same Lord and Savior that you serve, who are on the front lines sacrificing their very lives to bring the gospel to Japan. Please do not forget the martyrs who have given their very lives to keep the fires of the gospel burning in Japan.

No doubt President Obama will be making a visit to our nation in the future. I pray that he will provide the same encouragement that you have provided to Japan without alienating our Christian community here in Japan.

May the Lord Bless You and Keep You.

Veyry
|
California, USA
February 24, 2009

Veyry in California writes:

Hillary, We're following your steps everywhere you go.I just realized that God has a greater Plan for you than being President; you belong to the world, not only to the U.S.A. You will shine big time with your intelligence, charisma and hard work. You were born to be great and you're just in the right path to do so. I thing you have now more than 18 million behind you; and there are more cracks on that big ceiling to be made. You're in God's hands and we are there with you too. We love you OUR INSPIRATION LADY. God bless you!

Luckytlc
|
California, USA
February 24, 2009

Teri in California writes:

Hillary, our Madame Secetary

We are so proud of you and yes and you will be the best best SOS we have ever had! We keep following you every step and thankyou for the great service to our Country! Your a great face for America and we are very proud of you!

We Love you,
One of your 18 million cracks!!

Pages

.

Latest Stories

October 1, 2014

Making Connections in Ireland

Last week, the U.S. Embassy in Dublin, Ireland , hosted an inaugural event, “J1 Connect,” which brought together hundreds of… more

Pages