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This month marks the 50th
anniversary of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security signed by the
United States and Japan. On that day, President Dwight Eisenhower pledged to
establish an indestructible partnership based on equality and mutual understanding.
As President Barack Obama said, the enduring partnership between the United
States and Japan has helped bring unprecedented prosperity and peace to both
The notion of Japan as the cornerstone of U.S. engagement in East Asia, said
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg, "began and grew out of a
far sighted vision of American leaders at the end of World War Two, a vision
that recognized the importance of building a strong partnership with democratic
market economies to meet the challenges of the second half of the 20th century,
not just with our wartime allies, but equally with those who had been
That alliance secured peace and prosperity for the people of Japan and the
United States and helped create the conditions that have led to the emergence
of Asia as an economic power-house that has helped lift billions out of poverty
and gradually spread democratic governance to more countries in the region.
Over the years, the alliance has grown in scope, with cooperation on everything
from developing a joint missile defense system to reducing the impact of the
U.S. military footprint in Japan. Today Japan is working with the U.S. to
respond to threats posed by North Korea's missile and nuclear weapons programs.
At the same time, Japan's Self Defense Forces are on the ground in Africa and
the Middle East promoting peace. Japan is aiding in reconstruction efforts in
Iraq and anti-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa. In Afghanistan, Japan
has provided five-billion dollars to help train police officers, rehabilitate
demobilized fighters, and build schools and roads.
In a joint statement, the two governments committed themselves to further
building an unshakeable U.S.-Japan Alliance to adapt to the evolving
environment of the twenty-first century, learning from the challenges the
Alliance has faced in the past.
"As [the United States and Japan] celebrate the anniversary of the
treaty," said President Obama, "we pay tribute to its role in
supporting regional security and prosperity, and strengthening our two
democracies. Let us now undertake to renew our alliance for the 21st century
and enhance the bonds of friendship and common purpose that united our