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The White House
Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release

Remarks by Vice President Biden in a Meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kan

Kantel (Prime Minister’s Office)
Tokyo, Japan

11:17 A.M. (Local)

PRIME MINISTER KAN:  (As translated.)  (Inaudible) I would like to sincerely welcome you, Mr. Vice President.  Since immediately after the March 11th (inaudible) we have been receiving enormous assistance from the United States (inaudible) and we would like to reiterate our gratitude -- the people of Japan would like to reiterate our gratitude (inaudible).  I understand you are scheduled to go to Sendai this afternoon (inaudible) assistance to the people in the (inaudible) affected areas (inaudible) and making great efforts (inaudible).  And we are back in business and for traveling and with (inaudible) and this visit of Mr. Vice President to Japan demonstrates to the world that Japan is open for business and travel, and this is a splendid opportunity to demonstrate that.

Thank you very much.

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Mr. President [sic], thanks for your hospitality (inaudible).  I came for two reasons.  First of all, I came to express my sympathy -- admiration and support -- the Japanese people have endured the consequences of (inaudible).  Looking at it from afar, it was absolutely breathtakingly -- breathtakingly heartbreaking to see what your people (inaudible).

But I want you to know -- and your Ambassador to the United States knows this because (inaudible) -- the admiration of the American people (inaudible) the resolve, the courage, the commitment of the Japanese people was a model for the whole world to see.  And, Mr. Prime Minister, you do not need to express gratitude to us.  You would do the same for us.

Our only regret is we could not even do more.  That's the first reason why I’m here to express that (inaudible).

And the second reason is in accepting the kind invitation President Hu and Vice President Xi is increasing our dialogue and establish a special relationship with Vice President Xi, I wanted to make it clear that we want these relationships.  We are a Pacific power.  You are a Pacific power.  You are our ally both -- and your power economically and politically is something that we value a great deal.

I make the point that while you’re struggling to deal with one of the greatest natural disasters any country has faced, we are dealing with getting our budget in order.  There are voices in the world who are counting us out.  They're making a very bad bet.

(Pool escorted from event before conclusion.)

11:24 A.M. (Local)