The Third Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum
SEPTEMBER 10, 1995
Charles B. Doleac
This is the third of a series of forums held in the Portsmouth City Council Chambers to explore the meaning of the 1905 Portsmouth Peace Treaty, both as a matter of history and for what that history can mean for the future for both Russia, Japan, the United States, and the rest of the world. Symbolically behind me in the Portsmouth City Council Chambers are the flags of Russia and Japan, and in between them the Seal of the City of Portsmouth. The City of Portsmouth was the informal host of the Treaty, and the hospitality of the people of Portsmouth for 30 days enabled the Russian and Japanese delegations to successfully negotiate the treaty directly between themselves. The podium before me has only the flags of Russia and Japan, and not the flag of the United States, because the City's role was to be that of a neutral mediator, not to be a party that imposed or added its view to the direct peace negotiations between Russia and Japan.
We are pleased tonight to have many distinguished guests, and it is appropriate that welcoming remarks be given by the Mayor of the City of Portsmouth, Mayor Eileen Foley.
Mayor Eileen Foley
Thank you very much. Honored guests, speakers, and friends all. As we approach the end of this wonderful three-day celebration that we have all partaken to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the signing of the Russo-Japanese Peace Treaty, we welcome you to this, the third Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum, sponsored by the Japan-America Society of New Hampshire. As Chuck has said, over the past few months we have had two formal forums between Russian, Japanese, and American scholars. This afternoon marks the third of these forums. They have given us history, they have given us relevance to current issues, and a perspective to look to the future. Each time I come to these forums, I am amazed at the wonderful scholarly speakers; always we have had an atmosphere of good will, and know we always go away feeling the need to further examine all of our goals. This afternoon is the third forum, the culmination of erudite statesmen coming to help us find the answers to the challenges that are before us. And we thank the Japan-America Society of New Hampshire for all of these forums.
On behalf of the City of Portsmouth, we welcome our visitors, our Russian visitors from the west, our Japanese visitors from the east. We have John Barry, president of the local Russia Society of New Hampshire; we have sixty Japanese guests with us from our three sister cities celebrating in Portsmouth sister city week, Nichinan City, Nango town, and Kitago town. The three mayors of these wonderful towns have been with us all week, and are here with us this afternoon. We have coupled the treaty forum and the sister city visits, and it's been just a wonderful experience for all of us. So we thank you all very much for joining us in what promises to be a very wonderful and, as the kids say, an awesome afternoon. I warmly welcome our speakers, I warmly welcome our guests, our residents from the area, and I thank you all so very, very much for coming to join us for this wonderful afternoon. Thank you.