Hatoyama Cabinet E-mail Magazine No. 7 (November 20, 2009)
Yukio Hatoyama's "Yu-Ai" -- Message from the Prime Minister
Last Friday, November 13, President Barack Obama of the United States paid his first visit to Japan as president and we held the second Japan-US summit meeting since our first meeting in New York in September.
I was only able to spend less than four hours, including dinner time, with President Obama, despite him coming all the way to Japan, because I was to leave Japan for Singapore late that night to participate in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting. Still, I am confident that our relationship of trust, which cannot be measured merely by the length of time we spent together, became steadily stronger.
At the beginning of the dinner, I presented President Obama with a single blue rose. It was believed impossible to create a blue rose, since roses lack the gene to produce the color blue. However, a Japanese company spent 14 years in research and finally succeeded in developing the world's first blue rose. I explained to President Obama how this blue rose, which holds the meaning "to accomplish the impossible," was created and said, "Let us work together to accomplish the impossible."
I had heard beforehand how President Obama still remembers the taste of the matcha ice cream he enjoyed in Kamakura as a child and so I had some prepared for dessert. This became the matcha ice cream anecdote in the President's speech on US policy in Asia that he delivered the following day.
President Obama gave me a book, "Profiles in Courage," by then Senator John F. Kennedy. President Obama, on learning that JFK was someone I respected, took the trouble of finding a precious first edition published in 1956 and kindly gave it to me.
It is true that there are voices expressing concern and doubt over future relations between Japan and the United States, especially because no conclusion has yet been reached on the issue of the relocation of Futenma Air Station. As the Prime Minister of Japan, however, I believe it of the utmost importance that I first build an unwavering, strong relationship of trust -- a relationship of heart-to-heart understanding -- with the President of the United States. Meeting with President Obama in Tokyo, I confirmed that we shared this conviction. The major outcome of our meeting was the groundwork that we thus established for neither side to lose, but rather for both sides to win, for sure.
"Please trust me."
I strongly hope that the people of Japan will also believe in these
words President Obama and I exchanged during our meeting.
* Profile of the Prime Minister
- Third Meeting of the Government Revitalization Unit (November 19, 2009) and other topics
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