""I have come to Asia as my first trip as secretary of state to convey that America's relationships across the Pacific are indispensable to addressing the challenges and seizing the opportunities of the 21st century.
"The bilateral relationship between the United States and Japan is a cornerstone of our efforts around the world."
Secretary Clinton will visit Japan, Indonesia, South Korea and China on this trip - her first as Secretary of State.
She met with Japan's leader, and will also meet with the leader of the opposition party. She visited the Meji Shrine and took part in a purification ceremony. She also met with relatives of those abducted by Korea years ago, and will hold a town hall meeting with students.
Japan is suffering through the worst depression in 50 years, after its own banking collapse in the 1990s, a collapse eerily similar to what is happening in the U.S. right now.
A Japanese economic collapse would be catastrophic for the U.S. and for the world. Japan's economy is the second largest in the world. Ours is the first. And Japan is the largest holder of U.S. Treasury bonds, one of only two places - China being the other - that has had the cash to buy up our bad debt. But the bad economic situation in Japan is causing problems in China's economy, and workers there are facing loss of jobs. Japan is running a trade deficit for the first time in history...
It is Japan's and China's money that would finance the cost of Obama's spendulus package. If those countries can no longer carry our bad debt, the world's economy is going to collapse.
Maybe it's time to stop reading the news again. Stick my fingers in my ears and hum really loud...