On behalf of United States of America, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to His Majesty the Emperor of Japan on the occasion of his 62nd birthday this February 23. As His Majesty reflected in his New Year’s message, overcoming many of the global challenges we face today starts with cherishing our people-to-people connections. Maintaining the strength of the U.S.-Japan Alliance and our treasured friendship with the Japanese people has never more been more important.
As Secretary Austin and I reaffirmed in our meeting with Foreign Minister Hayashi and Minister of Defense Kishi last month, the U.S.-Japan Alliance is the cornerstone of peace and prosperity in a free and open Indo-Pacific. Together, the United States and Japan will continue to advance our shared vision of a world that is open, connected, prosperous, resilient, and secure. We look forward to deepening our cherished partnership with the people of Japan and continuing our efforts to strengthen and modernize the U.S.-Japan Alliance in the year ahead.