The United States and Japan enjoy a strong partnership based on a history of shared experiences, common values and ties of family and friends. This partnership is as strong as ever today. We’ve worked closely with you during the past year to help rebuild after the tragic events of last March. Japan has helped so many people around the world during their own crises and catastrophes and I want to express my appreciation to all of you for meeting in Japan and spreading the message that Japan is indeed open for business, including tourism.
More than one billion people will travel around the world this year. They will help our economies grow and support new areas of cooperation. At the State Department, we’re working to support tourism through student exchanges, study abroad opportunities and our visa waiver program. We, too, want the world to know that America is open for business, tourism and investment.
We are keeping America safe while welcoming visitors who add to our nation's culture and economy. As government and industry leaders, we need to look toward the future, and continue to harness the forces of change. So, I can’t wait to hear about what new ideas you come up with at this conference, because travel and tourism have the power to build new bridges, broaden our understanding, and make our world a safer, more prosperous, peaceful place. Thank you all very much.