Nobusuke Kishi

Address Before the Senate of the United States of America

delivered 20 June 1957,  Capitol Building, Washington, D.C.


I am deeply grateful for your warm reception and cordial welcome. You have accorded me a great honor today -- the honor of speaking in this thriving citadel of democracy.

It has been a thrilling experience for me to drive up Capitol Hill to time-honored hall. It is an inspiration to me to stand on this rostrum which witnessed the evolution of the modern democratic process of government, thus providing the pattern for new democracies, including my own country. Today Japan is endeavoring with pride and resolution to consolidate the foundations of a truly democratic government. The whole effort of our nation is dedicated to this task, for we believe in the lofty principles of democracy -- in the liberty and dignity of the individual.

It is because of our strong belief in democratic principles and ideals that Japan associates herself with the free nations of the world. We are ranged on the side of liberty, justice, and equality, because there can be no true peace, no true security, no true progress nor true happiness unless men and nations live by these principles.

In all our free world relations, our association with the United States is to us the most important. We are grateful to your country for the generous aid we have received since the war in restoring our shattered economy. We believe that our friendship, our mutual respect and trust, and our bonds of cooperation must ever be strong, especially in these times when tensions persist in many parts of the world.

International communism is now trying to win over Asia by exploiting the fervent spirit of nationalism of the Asian peoples and by appealing to their impatience to overcome poverty and privation. The Communists are trying to demonstrate that their way is the quicker way to develop underdeveloped economies and to raise living standards.

We firmly believe that they are wrong, and that the democratic method is the only way to serve the welfare and to promote the happiness of mankind. We must prove that we are right.

As the most advanced and industrialized nation in Asia, Japan has already shown that economic and social progress can be achieved without the Communist shortcut. We have already demonstrated that free enterprise serves human happiness and welfare in an honorable way with full respect for the dignity of man. It is my firm conviction that Japan, as a faithful member of the free world, has a useful and constructive role to play, particularly in Asia, where the free world faces the challenge of international communism. We are resolved to play that role.

I have come to this country at this time, in response to an invitation from your President, to have a frank exchange of views, with the highest officials of your Government on a wide range of problems of mutual interest and concern as they affect our two countries and as they affect the world. I hope that our discussion, now in progress, will bear good fruit. From out talks there will emerge, I sincerely trust, a strong and enduring partnership that will open the door to a new era of Japanese-American relations.

Let me, in closing, express to you, and through you to the people of America, my high esteem and warm feelings of friendship, and my best wishes for the prosperity and happiness of your great Republic, the United States of America.

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Text Note 1: Transcoded to hypertext by Michael E. Eidenmuller

Text Note 2: Per source document: Translated into English from the original Japanese language by Mr. Toshiro Shimanouchi, first secretary of the Japanese Embassy

Image Note: Colorized from the original black and white

Page Created: 4/28/23

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