Before starting to meet you in person, I wish to say a few words to thank you all.
The Empress and I, as well as so many of our people, were deeply moved by the immediate response of people in the United Kingdom, in the aftermath of the tragic disaster that struck Japan on March 11th last year. It was truly heartening, that so many people in this country, not only expressed their profound sympathy for the victims of the calamity, but also promptly organized a wide range of valuable relief activities, to help those in need. Your kind and practical response has, I presume, further strengthened the deep friendship, that has already existed for such a long time, between the peoples of our two countries.
We are, therefore, so glad that this commemorative occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty has made it possible for us, to convey directly to you, our heartfelt gratitude for your crucial role in initiating and carrying out those precious acts of charity.
I thank you.