New Year's Message to the People of Japan

December 31, 1985

It is a great pleasure to extend my sincere best wishes for the New Year to the people of Japan. Americans and Japanese alike have much to be thankful for on this first day of the New Year, not least our shared friendship and respect. In both countries, this is an opportunity to be with our families, to look back upon the accomplishments of the past year and ahead to the challenges of the coming year. We are grateful for the bounty that we enjoy and are committed to sharing it with those less fortunate. Most importantly, our families can celebrate this holiday in safety, knowing that we are at peace.

In 1985, we moved a bit closer to the ideal of a lasting, global peace. People around the world began to recognize the value of moving toward a day when we can rely for our security on defensive instead of offensive weapons. And the United States, with the help and advice of our allies, made a serious effort at beginning a dialog with the Soviet Union on issues of concern to all countries, such as arms control and human rights, as well as issues of more regional concern, such as the occupations of Afghanistan and Cambodia, that must be settled in order to achieve global peace and stability. The United States entered into that dialog confident in the support it had at home and abroad. Continued support from our friends and allies in the months ahead will be vital in order to achieve the objective of building a more stable and constructive relationship with the Soviet Union. There is much work to be done, but I promise that the effort will be made.

The strength of the ties between our two countries helped us to put in motion long-needed changes in our trade relations. While these changes will require time to take effect, our shared commitment to preserve the world's free trade system was an essential bulwark against the protectionism that would deprive us of the prosperity for which we and those before us have labored. The cooperative spirit of the relationship gives me great confidence that we will reach our mutual goals. The growing international role of Japan is one of the most welcome trends of the eighties and holds much promise for the last half of the decade. The United States deeply values our consultation and cooperation in dealing with global issues and welcomes a partnership with Japan that threatens no one and holds promise for so many. I look forward to returning to Tokyo for the economic summit in May.

To all the people of Japan: I wish you health and prosperity in the coming year.