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What a courageous SOS!  She is simply incomparable.  Love her?  I would walk on hot coals through fire for her.  Why?  Because she does that every day for me.

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So here she goes, once again, into a quake zone.  She is courageous, generous, cheerful, and altogether uplifting.  She is off on her mission to provide relief, what we can provide, to the devastated people of Japan.  She never seems to fear for her own safety which is why we always pray and light candles for her.  There have been a lot of quakes lately.

Maybe we should light some!

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This comes from a Japanese source,  and,  although it cites U.S. diplomatic sources (probably our embassy in Japan),   is unconfirmed  by the State Department.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Clinton Eyes Visiting Japan Late Next Week

WASHINGTON (Kyodo)–The U.S. government is making final arrangements for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to visit Tokyo late next week, with the aim of enhancing bilateral cooperation in addressing the disaster in Japan, U.S. diplomatic sources said Wednesday.

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Earthquake in Burma

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
March 25, 2011

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I offer our sincere condolences for the loss of life and damage caused by the earthquake in Burma, near the borders with Thailand and Laos. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this tragedy.

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Interview With Kaho Izumitani of NHK


Interview

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
March 22, 2011

QUESTION: Thank you, Madam Secretary, for your time and your full support to our country when we are experiencing such a difficult situation. So, 10 days have passed since the disaster hit. What is your understanding of the situation as of now, and how would you characterize the Japanese response overall?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first let me say how deeply sympathetic the United States is to everything that is happening in your country, and to express my condolence and sympathy for those who have lost loved ones, family members, friends, and colleagues. It’s an almost unimaginable disaster that you have dealt with, with great resilience, great spirit. And it’s been inspiring to see how the Japanese people have responded under the most difficult of historic experiences.

And as you know, we have tried to offer whatever assistance we could. We have sent many people, experts, recovery workers, humanitarian assistance to Japan, and we will continue to do so. I want the Japanese people to know that the American people support you and we will be there, not just for now but in the months and years ahead.

And I think it’s hard for anyone who has been outside of the vortex of the disaster zones in Japan to have any impression other than admiration to see how people have coped, to see how everyone has pulled together. And we can only hope that this third part of this unprecedented disaster that is at the nuclear power plant gets under control, gets brought into a manageable situation soon.

QUESTION: On the Fukushima Daiichi plant, the ongoing situation, although it is still very concerning and it seems there is mounting frustration somewhat on the U.S. side, given the announcement advising U.S. citizens to stay 50 miles away from the nuclear plant, it seems there’s a skepticism as well as frustration. Does the U.S. Government see any problems with how TEPCO and the Japanese Government are handling the situation? What more would you like to see done or would you like to see be done differently?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first let me make the point that because nothing like this has ever happened before, any of the advice or suggestions that the United States or others have made should be seen in light of our effort to try to be helpful. There is no book you can pull down from the shelf which says you have a 9.0 earthquake, a horrible tsunami, what do you do next at your nuclear reactors. And we have provided the best expert advice we know of and we’ve sent nuclear experts to Japan working side-by-side with your government and private sector officials.

And I think everyone is pursuing the same goal. We may have slightly different views about how to measure the danger or measure the impact, but those are not really in any way undermining the ongoing work that we’re doing together. And it is such an overwhelming task to try to figure out how to handle what’s going on in the reactors. So the United States has applied some of what we would do under a comparable situation, but we’ve never been in a comparable situation. So we’re doing the best we can to offer you our expert advice, but of course, we support you in what you are doing.

QUESTION: It is reported that the FDA is going to announce an import ban soon on the Japanese agricultural products. How would this impact trade and diplomatic relations? Can you actually confirm this is happening? And if so, how would you plan to resolve this?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I cannot confirm it. I do not know that it is happening. I know that Japanese officials have been very concerned about the food supply because, as we have seen in other nuclear incidents, that is an area that we have to pay particular attention to. So I can’t speak as to what the United States or any other country might do, but what is most important is making sure that we help Japan deal with the aftereffects of whatever occurred inside the reactors and that we also make sure the Japanese people have all the food that they need during this transition period.

QUESTION: So even if it happens, it’s not going to be a prolonging situation?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I don’t know that it is going to happen. I don’t have any information about that. But if it were to happen, it would be as much focused on determining what is or isn’t safe for the Japanese people, not just what is safe for export.

QUESTION: When you look at the U.S.-Japanese alliance, the relationship, on the Japanese side Foreign Minister Maehara resigned, and on the State Department, Mr. Maher has been replaced after the speech on Okinawa. Now, given the double disaster, the Japanese Government will probably have to concentrate on the recovery and rebuilding. Do you think this will have any effect on the alliance? Specifically, how does this reshuffling affect the prospect of the 2+2, the Okinawa base relocation issue, and Prime Minister Kan’s visit to the United States?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first I think that this unprecedented disaster has produced unprecedented cooperation between our two countries. In fact, our alliance, which was already strong and enduring, has become even more so. And there is going to be a lot of work ahead of us as we support you in your recovery and rebuilding efforts.

I do not think it will in any substantive way impact on all the other areas of cooperation and work that we are doing together. It may, of course, understandably, interject some delay because the first and most important responsibility that any official in your government has is to tend to the security and the needs of the Japanese people.

But in meeting with the new foreign minister, in all of the conversations that President Obama has had with Prime Minister Kan, that others of our officials have had with their counterparts, we are committed to pursuing our relationship on every level. But we too will highlight the cooperation between us in response to your needs, because I think that’s what we would do as your friend and partner and ally.

QUESTION: Thank you. My last question. Thank you so much for taking time and signing the condolence book. It means a lot to us. What would you like to tell the Japanese people at this point of time? My last question.

SECRETARY CLINTON: That I cannot even imagine how difficult a period this is, but I have great confidence in the Japanese people. I have a great admiration for the resilience and the spirit that I have seen time and time again. I am very grateful for the historic generosity of Japan when others have had disasters. Japanese workers, Japanese contributions have been part of helping others, whether it was an earthquake in Haiti or any other problem. And now the world wants to help you. And I really have an absolute conviction that Japan will come back even stronger for the future.

QUESTION: Thank you so much, Madam Secretary, for your time.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.

QUESTION: Thank you so much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. My pleasure.

Interview With Sumiko Mori of Fuji TV


Interview

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
March 22, 2011

QUESTION: Thank you very much. I have some questions. As Secretary of State, I know that dealing with crises throughout the world is not unusual, but what have you felt as you have seen the tragedy unfold in Japan?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I have just been heartbroken to see the unbelievable force of first the earthquake, then the tsunami and its impact on so many thousands of people. And then to see the additional disaster – the nuclear reactors, which are posing such a problem. It has been unimaginable because no one could have predicted what you have been experiencing. And I want to extend my condolences to everyone who was affected and my very strong feeling of support to the Japanese people.

QUESTION: Yeah, concerning the broad alliance with Japan going forward, what will be the United States’ ongoing role in this tragedy?

SECRETARY CLINTON: We will be with you every step of the way. We want to continue our provision of aid. We have sent many people to Japan to work with your government, to work with your utility company. We’ve sent many to do humanitarian work, recovery work. We will follow that up with providing additional technical assistance and other financial assistance. We believe in the resilience of the Japanese people and the spirit that has been evidenced during the last 10 days. And our friendship, our partnership, our alliance I think is even stronger today because of our working together throughout this terrible time of crisis.

QUESTION: How concerned are you about the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant situation?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, of course, I’m concerned. I think every person is, and most particularly Japanese people are. This is unprecedented. We don’t know exactly what can or should be done. If there were an easy answer, someone would take the manual off the shelf and open it up to — what do you do when you have a 9.0 earthquake and a huge tsunami? That is just not anything that has been planned for.

So our experts are working with yours. We’re offering suggestions. Others around the world who have such experience are offering their recommendations. But we’re all just trying to help to try to contain and control this very difficult situation.

QUESTION: Do you think Japan can contain the radioactive material?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think Japan will. I think that it is taking time because it is so difficult. There will be consequences that we won’t yet know now what that might be. The first, most important job, is to get it contained and make sure it’s not causing further release of radioactivity, and then see what needs to be done to try to deal with the aftereffects.

QUESTION: U.S. Government offered guidance regarding the evacuation perimeters from that Fukushima area, which is different from the Japanese guidance. And this is viewed by some people as a lack of confidence. Would you please explain the decision-making process for this?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, this should not be viewed as a lack of confidence. It should be viewed as a difference of opinion. This is what our experts say they would do as a matter of course in the United States. But I don’t think there is any strong disagreement with what the Japanese authorities have done, and they are constantly measuring what is the level of radioactivity in the air. So I think that this is just another one of the examples of how everybody’s trying to do the right thing. And of course, it is ultimately up to the Japanese authorities to make those decisions.

QUESTION: The Japanese Government is expending so much effort to deal with the catastrophe. Don’t you expect that – all of that to delay the resolution of the Okinawa-U.S. base issues and planned 2+2 meetings?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, when I have spoken with the new foreign minister, when President Obama has spoken with Prime Minister Kan and others of our officials have spoken, the Japanese Government has consistently said, of course our highest priority is to deal with this immediate crisis. But we don’t want everything else to take a back seat. We want to have the 2+2. We want to keep talking about all of the issues that we have to deal with from what’s happening with some of the islands that are claimed by others to what’s happening with North Korea. So we know we have to focus and support you in dealing with the crisis, but we also have to keep an eye on everything else going on.

QUESTION: Yes. Although Japan has enormous domestic crisis, North Korea always poses a threat. And last week, North Korea said they are willing to return to the Six-Party Talks and discuss enrichment program. Does this change things?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we hope so. We are working with our Six-Party partners, including Japan, to try to make sure that North Korea returns to the negotiating table. It’s in everyone’s interest, including theirs, that they do so. So we hope that this will lead to a more constructive response by them.

QUESTION: Mm-hmm. We understand that the U.S. and North Korea talks are to be held this coming weekend in Germany. And what can you tell us about these talks?

SECRETARY CLINTON: That is not anything that we are planning. There is an effort to try to get North and South Korea to start talking and to communicate with each other. And we have ongoing contact, as does any – every country with North Korea on certain issues, but nothing formal is planned.

QUESTION: Okay. Finally, would you please give your personal message to the people of Japan who are suffering right now?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I first want to begin by expressing the deepest sympathy of the United States for the people of Japan, and particularly for those who have been directly affected who have lost everything – members of their family, friends, colleagues, their homes. It is such an overwhelming disaster. But I also want to express my confidence in the Japanese people. The resilience, the spirit that we have seen in the last 10 days, is a firm foundation for Japan to recover and rebuild from. And just as the United States has been working with the Japanese people through our humanitarian efforts, our search and rescue efforts, and with the Japanese officials through our consultation and our technical expertise, we will continue to work with Japan. And we will be your partner and your friend for years to come as you rebuild from this terrible disaster. I know that Japan will come out even stronger.

QUESTION: Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you so much.

QUESTION: Thank you very much for your time.

SECRETARY CLINTON: My pleasure. Thank you.

 

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Remarks After Signing the Book of Condolences


Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Japanese Ambassador to the United States Ichiro Fujisaki
Embassy of Japan
Washington, DC
March 22, 2011

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SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it is with a very heavy heart that I come to pay my respects to the people of Japan who have endured so much in the last weeks. This has been an unprecedented disaster, but it has provoked an unprecedented show of resilience by the Japanese people and a pledge of cooperation and friendship from the American people. We will be with Japan and the people of Japan as you recover and rebuild, and we will stand with you in the months and years ahead.

And I can only express my very deep sympathy to all who have lost family members, loved ones, friends and colleagues, and can only hope that the extraordinary spirit of the Japanese people will be evidenced in every way possible to bring comfort and support to those in need. And we will be there to support you at this time. Thank you.

AMBASSADOR FUJISAKI: And Madam Secretary, just one word. Your rescue team, your forces, and your government officials have been working day and night with us, and your people, your NGOs – Red Cross and companies – extending their support to us. And this means a lot to the Japanese people, encouragement to us in such a difficult time, and as you have said, to be standing with us in this very difficult moment, we really do appreciate your friendship and solidarity, and we will never forget it. Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Ambassador, it’s our honor to stand with Japan. Japan’s generosity to people around the world is so well known. In the midst of disasters large and small, we see the assistance that comes from the government and people of Japan. And there has been an outpouring of support now in your time of need, and it is a great symbol of our friendship, partnership, and alliance that the United States is with you and will be there. Once we get through the immediate repercussions of this double disaster, we will continue to work with you. And we have no doubt that Japan will demonstrate a great commitment to an even better future.

AMBASSADOR FUJISAKI: Yes. We will overcome this and we will come back stronger, but thank you very much for standing with us.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much.

AMBASSADOR FUJISAKI: Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Ambassador.

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Japan’s Earthquake and Tsunamis

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
March 11, 2011

I join President Obama in offering our sincere condolences for the loss of life and damage caused by the earthquake and tsunamis in Japan. We are closely monitoring the tsunamis that may impact other parts the world, including Hawaii and the West Coast of the United States.

The U.S. Government has offered immediate disaster relief assistance, and we are working closely with the Government of Japan to provide additional help. Our consular officers in Japan and in the United States are working to gather information and assist U.S. citizens in Japan who may have been affected by the earthquake.

The United States is an unwavering friend and ally of Japan, and we are committed to helping Japan respond and recover. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan during this difficult time.

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Earthquake in Christchurch

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
February 22, 2011

I am deeply saddened by the news that a second major earthquake in 6 months has struck Christchurch. On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I send our sincere condolences and sympathy to the people of New Zealand.

When the earthquake struck, American and Kiwi officials were in the middle of a meeting in Christchurch, discussing plans to further develop and expand the broad partnership between our nations.

The United States stands ready to provide assistance to the government of New Zealand and to the brave people of Christchurch. Our long history of friendship and mutual support in times of need is an example of our enduring bond.

Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this terrible tragedy, especially the families of the victims, and with all the people of New Zealand.

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One Year Commemoration of Haiti’s Earthquake

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
January 11, 2011

One year ago, on January 12, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake rocked the nation of Haiti and took the lives of more than 200,000 people. Hundreds of thousands more were injured and more than a million were left homeless. Buildings crumbled and recent economic growth was erased in a matter of seconds. As we mark this day, let us pause to remember all those who lost their lives or loved ones in this tragedy. Here at the State Department and USAID, we also honor the service and sacrifice of our friends and colleagues who were lost and those who have tenaciously persevered, selflessly dedicating themselves to rebuilding Haiti.

In the past year more than 140 nations came together to support Haiti in its time of need. That spirit of cooperation must continue if we are to help Haiti overcome this tragedy. The resilience of the people of Haiti continues to inspire us. Their determination has set an example for all of us to follow and serves as a beacon of hope for the country’s future. The United States continues to work with the Haitian people along with our international partners and non-governmental organizations to help catalyze Haiti’s renewal.

Let us all rededicate ourselves to partnering with the people of Haiti in their pursuit to build back anew.

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