An excellent gesture toward our beleaguered friend.
From the pool report:
President Obama visited the Japan Embassy, in an unannounced trip, and signed a condolence book.
POTUS sat at a table covered in white cloth with the book before him. He sat for about 4 minutes 30 seconds. In front of him, on another table, were flowers and handwritten cards. “We are thinking of you,” one read. “Sorry,” read another.
POTUS wrote: “My heart goes out to the people of Japan during this enormous tragedy. Please know that America will always stand by one of its greatest allies during this time of need. Because of the strength and wisdom of its people, we know that Japan will recover, and indeed will emerge stronger than ever. And as it recovers, the memory of those who have been lost will remain in our hearts, and will serve only to strengthen the relationship between our two countries. May God bless the people of Japan.” He signed his name and wrote “March 2011” after his signature.
Then POTUS addressed the pool saying the purpose was to communicate how “heartbroken,” America is over the tragedy. “We are doing everything we can to stand by our great friend and ally, Japan, in this hour of need,” he said. He offered sympathy for lives lost and those who are now displaced.
POTUS said he was “confident” Japan will rebuild, praising its “strong” and “dedicated” people.
Said Ambassador of Japan Ichiro Fujisaki: “We are so grateful to the president and the people of the United States.”