Peace Through Partnership

December 14, 2007

Dear Members and Friends,

On December 13th in Honolulu, Hawaii, MDAA honored the Japanese-American partnership on missile defense to an audience of over 150 people. In attendance were Rear Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano, of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Japan; and the Commanding Officer of the JS KONGO, Capt Mineo Hirata and his officers and sailors. Also present from the United States were Rear Admiral Brad Hicks of the U.S. Navy; and the Commanding Officer of the USS Lake Erie, Capt Randall M. Hendrickson.

“We are gathered here tonight to honor, recognize and celebrate the United States of America’s partnership with the country of Japan on missile defense. Japan is our number one ally and our greatest ally in the world on missile defense and the United States of America is the number one ally and greatest ally to Japan on missile defense. Both of our countries recognize the ballistic missile threat of North Korea. Both of our countries have trusted and worked together to defeat the North Korean ballistic missile threat, to deter it and to dissuade it. This partnership, fueled by a common threat, has achieved remarkable successes in real capability, technical transfer, continued development and deployment of real operational working missile defense assets in and around Japan, protecting the citizens and country of Japan as well as American forces in the region. This partnership has stabilized the region and reduced the crisis, brought other means, measures and stability that has prevented the use of military force to lower the threat of North Korea.”

“The defining jewel of this partnership is the Aegis Sea-Based missile defense system. Many of you in this room are responsible for the success of the Aegis missile defense system; more importantly, you are responsible for the success of the partnership between Japan and the United States. We are deeply honored and are grateful for your sacrifice, work and achievements. In the audience tonight, we are honored to have the developers, the testers, the engineers – thank you. Also in the audience, we have the end users, the war fighters, the sailors of the U.S. Navy and the Japanese Navy. Thank you for your service, it is a great honor to have you here.”

“I am your host; I am Riki Ellison, founder and President of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance. We have one mission and that is to make our world a safer place by the deployment, development and evolution of missile defense. We drive public and political will through education and advocacy in this country and internationally to deploy and develop missile defenses.”

“Proliferation of ballistic missiles is an international issue and problem for the world’s security and as such requires an international solutions, like what we are honoring here tonight with Japan. The more countries that can field and deploy missile defense, the better off we, as a world, are.”

“It gives our international community, the United States of America and the country of Japan great confidence that the Japanese Aegis ship, the JS Kongo, will use her crew, her missiles, her ship to engage, track, discriminate and destroy a ballistic missile off the coast of Kauai next week. A demonstration that will send a message of peace through technology, security and partnership to the Japanese people, the American public, North Korea and those that proliferate ballistic missiles.”

“Thank you, Rear Admiral Kawano, and your country and people of Japan for your resolve and partnership on missile defense. You have made our world a safer place.”

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