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Clinton Says U.S. Stands Firm in Asia

By Linda D. Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 19, 1996 – Without American troops, the stability and prosperity of Asia could be in danger -- and so could Americas, according to President Clinton.

The president visited U.S. sailors, family members and members of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces April 17. He spoke aboard the 7th Fleets USS Independence, an aircraft carrier that operates out of Yokosuka, Japan. Clinton commended crewmembers for their most recent role in easing regional tension.

"Your last deployment off Taiwan helped to calm a rising storm," he said. "Without firing a single shot, you reassured nations all around the Pacific. With the quiet power of your example, you gave the world another example of Americas power and Americas character."

Maintaining a strong military presence in the region is a necessity for security and prosperity in the region and at home, he said. The Asia-Pacific region buys enough American products and services to support 3 million Americans' jobs in the United States, Clinton said.

"We fought three wars in Asia in this century and sacrificed some of our finest Americans in every single one," the president said. "With your strong presence here, we are preventing wars return.

"Make no mistake," he said, "there is still a threat that war could return. Without you, the stability and prosperity of Asia could be in danger ... . Old rivalries could break out again. A rogue state could get the wrong idea. A changing region could become unstable. But with you here, Asia is more secure, and so is America.""

The president noted 50 years ago, no onewould have believed American and Japanese sailors would be workingside by side. Clinton said he and Japans Prime Minister RyutaroHashimoto had just signed a joint security declaration to strengthenthe two nations defense alliance and prepare the alliance forthe challenges of the 21st century.

"We can do this because you are here, backing our commitments with your power," he said. "Thanks to you, the world knows now that the United States will stand firm in Asia."

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