Don’t Mention the War!

On February 19th, 2002, during the first stop of his Asian visit, President George W. Bush addressed The Japanese Diet. He appeared to have forgotten World War II when he made the following remarks:

“My trip to Asia begins here in Japan for an important reason. It begins here because for a century and a half now, America and Japan have formed one of the great and enduring alliances of modern times.  From that alliance has come an era of peace in the Pacific.  And in that peace, the world has witnessed the broad advance of prosperity and democracy throughout East Asia.” [1]

This statement, most likely a gaffe, must have raised a few eyebrows in the Japanese Diet. President Bush almost certainly intended to say “for half a century” and not “for a century and a half”.

We will give him the benefit of the doubt, but his speech remains part of the public record and will endure.


  1. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States. George W. Bush, 2002. (1), p249 – 252. United States Printing Office. Washington. 2004.

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