In November 1974, Gerald Ford became the first sitting American president to visit Japan—the trip was also Ford’s first abroad since replacing Nixon in August of that year. He used the trip to reinforce US-Japanese relations, and in this speech to the people of Japan, the new president admired Japanese ingenuity and industry and expressed the value of the alliance between the two nations. Ford touched on difficult historical moments between the countries, noting, “Together we removed the legacies of World War II.” And he pointed to the two nations’ past cooperation as a guideline for the future: “We worked together to solve the problems of the cold war. We succeeded because we worked together. Now we confront these new and even more complicated problems.” Those problems, matters of the environment and global economy, belonged to both nations, Ford asserted. Inviting Japan to continue its close relationship with the United States, Ford pointed to the necessity of mutual cooperation: “America cannot solve those problems alone. Nations can only solve those problems by working together. Just as we worked together to maintain peace, we can work together to solve tomorrow’s problems.”
We believe that we are not just temporary allies; we are permanent friends. We share the same goals – – peace, development, stability, and prosperity. These are not only praiseworthy and essential goals but common goals.
The problems of peace and economic well-being are inextricably linked. We believe peace cannot exist without prosperity, prosperity cannot exist without peace, and neither can exist if the great states of the world do not work together to achieve them. We owe this to ourselves, to each other, and to all the Japanese and the American peoples.
America and Japan share the same national pastime – – baseball. In the game of baseball, two teams compete. But neither can play without the other, nor without common respect for each other and for the rules of the game.