Here are two sets of remarks Secretary of State Clinton has given directly to the press already, having only just begun her trip. The combination of openness to the press and the decision to get off the ministerial level to speak to ordinary citizens demonstrates how Secretary Clinton's style, as well the substance of her ideas, will transform American diplomacy. Emphases mine.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I wanted to come back and talk to you about this trip. It's my first trip, obviously, as Secretary of State, and going to Asia is, for me, a very big part of how we're going to demonstrate the Obama Administration's approach to dealing with the multitude of problems that we see, but also the opportunities as well.
This region is indispensable to our efforts to seize the opportunities and meet the challenges of the 21st century, and it is part of a larger context in which we intend to create networks of partners in order to deal with the problems that no nation, even ours, can deal with alone. And for me, this means employing all the tools of smart power. And I will be discussing with the leaders with whom I'll be meeting not only our bilateral relationships and our relationships with institutions in the region, but joint efforts that we can undertake on behalf of global problems like climate change or nuclear proliferation, or specific issues like the future of our efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan and beyond.
Now, this is not just about meeting with leaders, though, because I think it's important that we get out of the ministerial buildings and listen to the people in the countries where I'll be visiting. So to that end, I'll be doing town halls and visits in areas of concern that we can discuss with NGO leaders and local officials.
This is not the first time I've been in these countries, but it's obviously the first time that I come in this capacity. But it's an opportunity to renew relationships with some people that I've known before, as well as those with whom I'll be meeting for the first time.
And it really is about listening as much as talking. I think that's an important point I want to underscore. We think it's not only a smart approach to engage our friends, partners, and have an opportunity to hear from them, but we also are looking for the best ideas about how to further the objectives of this Administration in pursuing peace and prosperity and progress.
The final point I would say is that the global economic crisis is the backdrop against which this visit takes place. The four nations I'll be visiting are all members of the G-20. They will be in London. I will be discussing with them the approaches that each are taking, explaining what we have just done with the passage of our stimulus bill, and seeking greater cooperation about how together we're going to work our way through these very difficult economic times.
But I'm optimistic and very much looking forward to this trip. I chose to go to Asia deliberately in order to send that message that we are reaching out. We do see Asia as part of America's future. As I said in my speech at the Asia Society, we are both a transatlantic and a transpacific power. And part of what I hope we can do is better understand and create the kind of future that will benefit both Asians and Americans.
The bilateral relationship between the United States and Japan is a cornerstone of our efforts around the world. I will be speaking with Japanese leaders and citizens during my visit, and we will be looking for ways to collaborate on issues that go beyond just our mutual concerns to really addressing the global concerns, including climate change and clean energy, Afghanistan, Pakistan, nuclear proliferation, and other common concerns.
The U.S.-Japanese alliance is vitally important to both of our countries, to the Asia-Pacific region, and to the world. And our partnership stretches back half a century. Its foundation has been and always will be a commitment to our shared security and prosperity. But we also know that we have to work together to address the global financial crisis, which is affecting all of us. And we have to work together, as we are doing, to try to assist those around the world afflicted by poverty, natural disasters, and disease. We have a longstanding tradition of exchange and cooperation between our two countries, and between the people of our two nations. We have cooperation in the fields of education and science, and through programs such as the Fulbright Exchange and the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program.
With us this evening are some of the Japanese citizens who have been part of the exchanges. We have two preeminent Japanese astronauts, both space pioneers whose work is indicative of the ongoing scientific cooperation between Japan, the United States, and our other partners around the world. It is an honor for me to meet Dr. Mukai, who is known and admired for her participation in two space shuttle missions. And I wish to acknowledge and welcome Ms. Yamazki, who is on her way to becoming the first Japanese mother to fly in space when she joins the International Space Station next year.
I am also pleased to be joined by members of Japan’s Special Olympics Committee, the leaders and the coaches and the other officials, and most importantly, the athletes who have just returned from the 2009 Special Olympics World Games in Boise, Idaho. I want to congratulate all of the athletes. We salute you for your accomplishments in the athletic arena, as well as the message of peace and kinship that your participation in the Special Olympics sends around the world.
I am looking forward to my opportunities to meet with government leaders and citizens in Tokyo. I look forward to these discussions, and to do the work together with the government and people of Japan that will continue our long friendship and alliance, and will enable us to move forward with confidence and optimism into this new century. Thank you for this gracious and generous welcome back to Tokyo and Japan.