Vice President Nixon addresses the American-Japan Society in Tokyo on November 15, 1953 (Richard Nixon Presidential Library).

On November 15, 1953, then Vice President Nixon addressed the American-Japan Society in Tokyo. The speech emphasized the importance of U.S.-Japan relations in the post-war period, especially after the Communist takeover of China, and the ideology’s specter over Korea and Indochina.

Nixon told his audience that the United States wasn’t an imperialist super power and sought “absolutely nothing from any other people or government except their friendship and the opportunity to pursue peace.”

He argued that the freedom exhibited by American allies was an inherent strength. Communists will lose as long as they’re convinced that their slave nations will not fight as hard against those who are free.

Nixon discussed the imperative of sound public policy and fiscal responsibility on the domestic front. While spending money on a strong defense was important, resources needed to be directed to build a strong, productive, and free economy. Ultimately, America needed to demonstrate to itself and the world that its principles could prevail over the illusion that Communism was a viable solution to upward social and economic mobility.

“Where does Japan fit?” Nixon asked his audience.

As among the most influential Asian countries, if Japan fell under Communist domination, so would all of Asia.

While disarmament was an important goal, Japan needed to increase its forces, and the U.S. could assist in that effort. Nixon emphasized that Japan should forge closer ties to South Korea for the mutual defense of South East Asia.

Nixon then turned to the U.S.-Japan relationship.

He said that while each nation must take into consideration practical considerations for their respective domestic constituents, in the long run economic barriers must come down, and trade must be expanded.

Nixon also said that the United States will work with Japan in international organizations, and help Tokyo attain a seat at the United Nations.

“We are on the right side — the side of freedom, the side of justice — against totalitarianism and slavery,” Nixon concluded. “All that is needed is leadership.”

Read the whole speech below:

Vice President Nixon Speech… by on Scribd