White House Hosts Dinner for Prime Minister Abe

July 6, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. host / hoʊst / (v.) – to take care of and entertain guests at a place or event
Example: She hosted the dinner for the guests.

2. person-to-person / ˈpɜr sən təˈpɜr sən / (adj.) – refers to the direct interaction between two people or groups
Example: The two leaders agreed to have a person-to-person meeting next week.

3. treaty / ˈtri ti / (n.) – a formal and official agreement between two nations
Example:  Both countries signed a peace treaty.

4. bilateral / baɪˈlæt ər əl / (adj.) – consisting the involvement of two groups
Example: The two nations made a bilateral agreement.

5. alliance / əˈlaɪ əns / (n.) – a bond or partnership between two or more groups
Example: Japan and the United States are taking steps to strengthen their alliance.


Read the text below.
The White House hosted a dinner during the state visit of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the United States.

The dinner was held indoors rather than at the White House’s South Lawn, where most state dinners are organized. Because the venue was smaller than usual, fewer guests were invited. This setup made it possible for representatives of the United States and Japan to build an intimate, person-to-person relationship.

The dinner was a venue to further promote the friendship between Japan and the United States and to unite the two cultures. During the event, President Obama recited a haiku about spring, friendship, and harmony. In return, Prime Minister Abe described his country’s relationship with the United States by quoting the song “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”

The state dinner was just one part of Prime Minister Abe’s US state visit. The prime minister also toured Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles, with the purpose of strengthening trade and military ties between the two countries.

The peaceful relationship between Japan and the United States started on September 8, 1951, when both countries signed the San Francisco Peace Treaty. This treaty marked the end of World War II. Despite being enemies during the said war, both countries developed the world’s most important bilateral relationship since 1951. In fact, the United States and Japan are two of the few nations that were able to form a strong alliance even after being at war with each other.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Why do you think Japan and the United States were able to maintain a good relationship?
·         In your opinion, how else can the two countries improve their relationship?

Discussion B

·         What do you think makes a strong bond between two countries?
·         Do you think it is also possible for other countries that were previously at war to make peace? Why is that so?

July 6, 2015