The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

Caroline Kennedy U.S. Ambassador to Japan

Caroline Kennedy
U.S. Ambassador to Japan

On the anniversary of the first Independence Day celebration in Philadelphia—many years ago—I have the honor of wishing all of you a joyful Fourth of July. This holiday is not only an opportunity to relax, but also to reflect on the ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence. As President Barack Obama stated in his historic May 27 speech in Hiroshima, following the G7 Summit, “[Our] nation’s story began with simple words: All men are created equal and endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Realizing that ideal has never been easy, even within our own borders, even among our own citizens. But staying true to that story is worth the effort.” In an election year such as this, many of these foundational thoughts underpin the faith we have in our system.

The US–Japan partnership has never been stronger. President Obama is redoubling efforts for approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership this year. Thanks to the work of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) and its members, momentum is building in support of this historic trade deal that is both an economic and strategic win for Japan and the United States. Additionally, Japan is also to be commended for successfully hosting a productive G7 Summit in Ise-Shima. We look forward to building on the summit’s momentum to deepen our cooperation on global health, women’s issues, regional infrastructure, and climate change. Earlier this year, we were able to secure a bilateral agreement to open up more favorable flight times for US carriers at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda), which will further multiply our people-to-people connections.

The relationship between the United States and Japan is built on shared values and common interests. Both of our nations are mature democracies, committed to the rule of law and to peaceful resolution of controversies. Both are trading nations, dependent upon freedom of navigation and open markets.

The members of the ACCJ understand the importance of our two nations’ deep and abiding relationship. This is why I am so glad to work with the Chamber day to day, and to benefit from member input and support, as I carry out my work as ambassador. Your efforts encourage sustainable growth, generate new trade and investment, and deepen economic and personal exchange between the United States and Japan.

Over the decades, the ACCJ has played a key role in bringing together new generations of Japanese and Americans, and keeping these relationships close and strong. I have especially valued the time I have spent with the Chamber and its members this year, as we all continue to work to encourage prosperous business relations, generate new trade and investment, and deepen the exchange of people and ideas between the United States and Japan. I congratulate the Chamber for the landmark Women in Business white paper (page 50). This is exactly the kind of assistance Japan may welcome in its drive to become steadily more inclusive, benefiting all. I am also excited about the Chamber’s important work on the Education Task Force, which should help reverse the trend of declining student collaboration and exchange.

I would like to extend a special holiday greeting to readers of The Journal and all 3,000 ACCJ members from more than 1,000 companies and over 40 countries. Thank you for your active participation in the Chamber’s important work, and best wishes for a meaningful and memorable Independence Day.

These companies join The Journal in wishing readers a
happy Fourth of July.

Caroline Kennedy is the US Ambassador to Japan
I am so glad to work with the Chamber day to day.