I join President Obama and the people of the United States in sending warm wishes to His Imperial Majesty on his 77th birthday this December 23rd, and I congratulate the people of Japan on this national day of celebration.
This year we not only marked the 50th anniversary of the U.S.-Japan Alliance, we confirmed the strength and continued importance of our partnership in the 21st century. The democratic values that unite Japan and the United States have helped both our nations prosper as we work together to address the challenges of our world. Cooperation between Japan and the United States is crucial to achieving all of our shared goals, from rebuilding the global economy to combating climate change and halting nuclear proliferation. Japan has also showcased its regional leadership this year as host of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. The partnership between Japan and the United States has long been the cornerstone for American engagement in the Pacific. Each time I visit Japan, I am honored to reaffirm our friendship and find new opportunities to strengthen our bonds.
I wish His Imperial Majesty a wonderful birthday, and peace and prosperity to all the people of Japan in the coming year.