This week's "Photo of the Week" comes to us from William Ng, Senior Producer at the East Asia and Pacific Media Hub, and shows U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton with a member of the Tomodachi youth program in Tokyo, Japan, on July 8, 2012. Secretary Clinton traveled to Japan as part of a nine country trip to Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
Immediately after the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, Japan and the United States together mounted one of the largest overseas humanitarian relief operations in American history, and the largest U.S.-Japan joint military operation ever. More than 20,000 Americans from our military and other U.S. agencies took part in what we called Operation TOMODACHI -- which means "friends" in Japanese. It is because of the close ties between the United States and Japan that we were able to react and respond so swiftly and collaboratively to this unprecedented tragedy. But it is because of our deep friendship and commitment to one another that we felt compelled to do so.
Building upon this cooperation, the United States and Japan launched the TOMODACHI Initiative, a public-private partnership that supports Japan's recovery, and invests in the next generation of Japanese and Americans in ways that strengthen cultural and economic ties, and deepen the friendship between the United States and Japan over the long term. The partnership is not just between the two governments, but also between both societies, including the business community, academics, civic groups, and sports and entertainment figures. As part of the partnership, young people from both countries come together through student exchanges, sports programs, and entrepreneurial programs.
You can follow Secretary Clinton's travel at www.state.gov.