Obama declares bond with Japan 'unshakeable'
File photo
March 11th, 2011
12:15 PM ET

Obama declares bond with Japan 'unshakeable'

President Obama sent his condolences to the people of Japan over the devastating 8.9 magnitude earthquake, and declared that the U.S. stands ready to offer aid because of the "unshakeable" bond between the two nations.

Obama, who was informed of the earthquake at 4 am ET by Chief of Staff Bill Daley, also said he has instructed the Federal Emergency Management Agency "to be ready to assist Hawaii and the rest of the U.S. states and territories that could be affected" by tsunamis.

Obama, who had already scheduled an 11:15 am ET Friday news conference at the White House to discuss soaring energy prices in the U.S., will no doubt have more to say about this new international crisis as well.

"Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the people of Japan, particularly those who have lost loved ones in the earthquake and tsunamis," Obama said in a written statement released by the White House early Friday.

"The United States stands ready to help the Japanese people in this time of great trial," added Obama, who has visited Japan twice as president. "The friendship and alliance between our two nations is unshakeable, and only strengthens our resolve to stand with the people of Japan as they overcome this tragedy."

Obama, who was born in Hawaii and spent a good chunk of his childhood there, added that the White House will continue to "closely monitor" tsunamis around Japan and the entire Pacific, and noted he has ordered top administration officials to get ready to assist U.S. citizens in Hawaii and other states who may be affected as well.

"We are asking all our citizens in the affected region to listen to their state and local officials as I have instructed FEMA to be ready to assist Hawaii and the rest of the U.S. states and territories that could be affected," said Obama.

Vice President Joe Biden, travelling in Moldova, called it a "mega-earthquake" and said "the thoughts and prayers of the American people ... are with our friends in Japan."

"We the United States stand ready to do anything we can to help our Japanese friends as they deal with the aftermath of this tragedy," Biden said, according to a pool report of his remarks.

Back on Feb. 27, 2010, after a massive earthquake in Chile, Obama spoke to the American people about the devastation and also warned U.S. citizens about the possibility of a tsunami in Hawaii, American Samoa, and Guam.

"I urge citizens to listen closely to the instructions of local officials, who will have the full support of the federal government as they prepare for a potential tsunami, and recover from any damage that may be cause," Obama said then.

–CNN White House producer Bonney Kapp contributed to this report.


Topics: President Obama • The News

soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. liz ashmore

    i send my deepest concerns for all those in way off mother natuer. but listen we as americans need to aid our own before helping others. i know that sounds meand, and selfish but its true. we need to become adult penny pinchers instead of teenager in the mall blowing bills. thers this little island of in an ocean full of hatered called hawii that needs our help. we need to spend wise and small. but most of all wise. obama dont screw this up.

    March 11, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  2. Jay in NC

    liz ashmore, the 'Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan' was signed in 1960. This treaty basically states that we will defend each other from foreign enemies. It is our duty to help them in a time of need. I agree that we should cut cost. However Japan has been there for us in the past and in this case I think we should help them.

    Here is a story I found on America.gov about Japan and her citizens helping after hurricane Katrina.
    http://www.america.gov/st/washfile-english/2005/September/20050915165123ajesrom9.768313e-02.html

    March 11, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  3. Liz Carter in Georgia

    During the 90s', while working for the government, I heard about this military project called H. A. A. R. P. I just looked up the correct meaning of the acronym; and it means Highfrequency Active Auroral Project. This thing started out being one of the militarys' best kept secrets; sort of like AREA 51 used to be. However, I'm thinking now about all of these seemingly back-to-back undescribable, unspeakable 'natural-caused' events on earth and I wonder are they, in fact, being caused by HAARP testing?

    March 11, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  4. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Through some type of radiation or microwave, and radio wave testing, they're capable of making it rain, cause thunder and lighning, raise the ocean levels, and cause extreme heat, floods, earthquakes, etc. If I remember correctly, JESSE VENTURA even investigated it on one of his tv shows a while back. I keep remembering that there's one 'character defect' that's colorless, and that's GREED! It's just food for thought. We can't prove them at fault, but when we're 'at fault', we have to prove ourselve right!

    March 11, 2011 at 5:15 pm |