Hotel Okura Tokyo, Japan THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, good afternoon. Konnichiwa. (Laughter.) To Chris LaFleur, thank you for that gracious introduction and for your great leadership; to Ambassador Sasae; to the chargé d’affaires, Hyland; to our state minister, Sonuora (ph); the members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan; members of the Keidanren; representatives of the Mount Fuji Dialogue, distinguished business leaders; and my friend the Secretary of Commerce for the United States of America, Wilbur Ross, who is with us today. (Applause.) It is great to be back in Japan. This isn’t my first time here. As governor of the state of Indiana, it was my great privilege to come to Japan, which is a great partner with the people of that heartland state, on two difference occasions. But it is my first trip to the Asian Pacific, so I had to some to Japan as Vice President of the United States of America. (Applause.) I bring greetings from the President of the United States, President Donald Trump. Yesterday, under the President’s behalf, I had the honor to meet with Prime Minister Abe to reaffirm the abiding friendship and the enduring alliance between Japan and the United States. The United States-Japan alliance is the cornerstone of peace, prosperity, and freedom in the Asia Pacific. And under President Donald Trump, America is firmly committed to strengthening our alliance and defending the prosperity and security that we have built together between our nations. As President Trump told Prime Minister Abe, so I say on his behalf today to all of the business leaders that are gathered here, to all of the people of Japan: We are with you 100 percent. (Applause.) Know that we stand with you, now and always, and together, we will address the challenges that we face in these uncertain times; and most especially, we will address the region’s most dangerous and urgent threat to peace and security -- the regime in North Korea. Now rest assured, under President Trump, the United States is unwavering in its commitment to defend Japan. Earlier today I had a great privilege to speak on the deck of USS Ronald Reagan at Yokosuka Naval Base. Her steel deck I said there signifies the ironclad alliance between the United States and Japan. And it is a testament to our commitment to our shared security. (Applause.) Today, over 50,000 U.S. servicemembers and a further 50,000 civilians and family members are stationed here in Japan. And the United States will continue to deploy our most advanced military assets in the region. And with regard to this challenge, let me be clear: While all options are on the table, the United States will continue to work directly with Japan, our allies across the region, and China to bring economic and diplomatic pressure to bear on the regime in North Korea until they once and for all abandon their nuclear and ballistic missile programs. (Applause.) The President and I have great confidence, that together with Japan, and our allies in the region, we will protect the peace and security of this region, and achieve our shared goal of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. Security, of course, is the foundation of our prosperity, and prosperity is what I came to talk about with all of you today. Under President Donald Trump, the United States is deeply committed to strengthening our economic ties with Japan. For more than 70 years, our nations have been partners in commerce, bringing our peoples together and generating growth and prosperity for generations to the benefit of both our nations. Today, the United States’ partnership with Japan is one of our most vibrant and one of our most cherished. And the American Chamber of Commerce Japan has played a pivotal role in that relationship for decades. Since 1948, you’ve brought together hundreds of businesses, on both sides of the Pacific, to develop commerce between our nations and to invest in our shared future. And the same goes to all the businesses represented here today. I just had the opportunity to meet with a number of great American and Japanese business executives -- companies like Aflac, IBM, Toyota, General Motors. All of you are pillars of our shared prosperity. And join me in a round of applause for these great business leaders who have joined us here today. We are truly honored by your presence. (Applause.) Your businesses create jobs and drive innovation in the United States and in Japan. And thanks in no small part to your hard work, the economic partnership between the United States and Japan will continue to grow and flourish. Of that I’m confident. Our two nations have powered the global economy for decades, and today, we account for nearly a third of the world’s gross domestic product. And the trade between us is an important factor to our success. In 2016, Japan was the United States’ fourth-largest goods exports market. From aircraft to medical devices, machinery to pharmaceuticals, the United States has sent more than $63 billion worth of goods to Japan last year alone. When you add in services, our annual exports are closing in on $110 billion, supporting more than 600,000 good-paying American jobs. Our countries have also invested historic sums in each other’s economies. America is a top foreign direct investor in Japan, with over $108 billion invested. And the benefits flow both ways. Today, Japanese-owned businesses employ 839,000 American workers, and Japanese foreign direct investment in the United States topped a stunning $411 billion -- the second most of any nation in the world. And America is grateful. (Applause.) I know from firsthand experience how important Japan is to the American economy. And some of these business leaders I actually met in my old job. As governor of the state of Indiana, in 2013 and 2015, I led a group of business and community leaders here to Japan. I’ll always be incredibly appreciative of the more than $1.8 billion in planned investments and the nearly 7,000 jobs in the state of Indiana that have been created by Japanese-owned firms during my time in office. I must tell you that I saw firsthand in the state of Indiana more than 250 Japanese companies that came not just to do business, but to help build communities. And the relationship that I saw develop in communities large and small across my heartland state could only be described with that Japanese word kizuna. It’s a bond. It’s a bond of friendship, of shared heritage and shared values. And now, as Vice President, I’m grateful to all the Japanese businesses that are investing all over the United States at this very moment. I believe the best is yet to come. Ever since President Donald Trump’s election, Japanese businesses have dramatically increased their commitment to the American economy, and we’re grateful. Last December, for instance, SoftBank announced a $50 billion investment in the United States, creating 50,000 new American jobs. And in January, Toyota unveiled a $10 billion investment in America, and just last week dedicated more than $1.3 billion to a plant in the state of Kentucky. These are only a couple of examples of many more that I could name at the podium today. The truth is, though, is that our economic partnership with Japan could still be even stronger, and that’s why President Trump is taking critical steps to strengthen our bond in the years ahead. President Trump has made it clear that our administration will strengthen our international trade relationships using a bilateral approach, and yesterday, at the President’s direction, I met with Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Aso to kick off the U.S.-Japan Economic Dialogue. And we’ve gone straight to work. (Applause.) This dialogue presents the United States and Japan with the opportunity to deepen our bilateral economic ties, and to foster jobs, prosperity, and growth on both sides of the Pacific. In yesterday’s meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister, we broadly discussed how we view the dialogue’s structure and goals. That dialogue we decided will focus on three key policy pillars in the months ahead. The first is to seek a common strategy on trade and investment rules and issues. Under President Trump’s leadership, the United States seeks a stronger and more balanced bilateral trade relationship with Japan. Our goal is simple: We seek trade that is both free and fair and benefits both our nations equally. This requires breaking down barriers and leveling the playing field so that American companies and exporters enjoy high levels of market access. The second pillar involves economic and structural policies, with a specific focus on fiscal and monetary issues. The President believes that both the United States and Japan can enact pro-growth and fiscally sustainable monetary and budgetary policies, which are both key to our long-term economic success. And the final pillar is what we call sectoral cooperation. The President and I are confident that we can find new ways to expand our economic ties with Japan in different sectors and industries. In fact, as we discussed earlier today with business leaders, one of the areas we agreed upon is to examine ways that we can promote and advance women empowerment in business in the United States and in Japan. (Applause.) American and Japanese businesses have much to offer each other, and by working together, the President and I believe that we can ensure that our two nations’ economic leadership grows even stronger in the years ahead to the benefit of the entire world. President Trump and I are grateful that Prime Minister Abe and Deputy Prime Minister Aso share our goal of a mutually beneficial economic relationship. And as members of the business community, all of you will play an integral role in helping us identify where and how we can make the most impact in the days ahead. President Trump and I value your continued input on the issues that you face, and we know that you can help us move toward a system that maximizes jobs, growth, and a brighter future for Japan and the United States of America. The truth is simply that a stronger American economy means a stronger economy for Japan and for all our trading partners. The United States and Japan are drivers of global growth, and under President Donald Trump, I can promise you, the United States will drive growth like never before. (Applause.) President Trump and our entire administration are working around the clock to pass an agenda of lower taxes, less regulation, better infrastructure, and a renewed focus on American energy. I’m sure you’ll be glad to know that tax reform is one of our top priorities. I don’t have to tell you how complicated the American tax code is and how much harm it does to business investment in our country -- at home and, frankly, abroad. Our corporate tax rate sadly is one of the highest in the developed world -- it’s more than 10 percent higher than the tax rate here in Japan. President Trump’s tax plan is to slash the corporate rate and reform the tax code and make it simpler, flatter, and fairer. Rest assured, our tax reform plan will make the strongest economy in the world stronger still. And it will benefit every business represented here today. (Applause.) The same is true of the President’s energetic actions from the outset of our administration to reduce the regulatory burden in America. The President already ordered every agency in Washington, D.C. to find two regulations to get rid of before issuing any new red tape on the American economy and the American people. The President has also signed more than a dozen bills turning back the last administration’s excessive regulatory mandates, and we’re going to continue to work with Congress to slash through the red tape. Make no mistake about it: Under President Donald Trump, the era of over-regulation in the American economy is over, and a new era of jobs and growth has begun. (Applause.) Now, these are just a few of the President’s policies that I could discuss today. I appreciate the feedback I received from so many of you at our earlier conversation about what our administration can continue to do to create an environment on both sides of the Pacific where we can grow and thrive. Rest assured, President Trump’s agenda in America will renew our country’s reputation as the premier investment destination in the world, which will benefit both of our countries and all the enterprises gathered here. And our success will further strengthen our bond with the businesses and the people of Japan. Of that I’m certain. The truth is that both our nations seek the same thing. We want good-paying jobs for our people. We want more investment and higher growth. We want innovation and high-tech companies. And we want our people to be more prosperous tomorrow than they are today. These are shared goals, and they’re shared values. And I can tell you that under President Trump’s leadership, and working closely with Prime Minister Abe, they’re the shared expectations of both of our peoples. We’re looking forward to working with all of you and with the leadership here in Japan to achieve that aim. This is a historic time in the relationship between our nations. For more than 70 years, the United States and Japan have built on a foundation of freedom and friendship, and together we’ve become the pillars that support opportunity and prosperity around the world. Today, I say with confidence: With your continued help, through an enduring alliance and economic partnership, and under President Donald Trump, our nations will reach new heights, for the benefit of all of our people, and for the benefit of the world. Thank you so much for having me here today and thank you for the opportunities that the enterprises here represent in America and in Japan. And God bless you all. (Applause.) (The Mount Fuji Dialogue Award is presented.) END
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By Heather Taylor There may be no greater love story in the advertising industry than the one between ad pros and their favorite brand mascots. A match made in heaven, or rather a brainstorming copy session, the affections for these characters has endured for decades with consumers and creatives alike. Today, agencies throughout the country and even across the pond join us for an exclusive heart-to-heart about the love notes they’d send their favorite brand mascots this Valentine’s Day. We present this list in alphabetical order, accompanied by a punny poem penned by our own in-house Cupid: Roses are red, they grow along a vine, Kool Aid Man, Mayhem, and Tony the Tiger, won’t you be mine? The AFLAC Duck My love for you is not a quack. Aflac-tionately yours, Lauren — Lauren Sachs, Account Manager, Day One Agency Captain Morgan Sometimes we are on the rocks, but when we are together it’s always a good time. — Christina Oswald, Digital Marketing Analyst, Moncur Charlie the Tuna Out of the whole tuna-verse, I want you to be my Valentine. — Charlie the Tuna, StarKist Chester Cheetah Once a cheetah, always a cheetah. But I can’t stop loving you. — Jimmy Dietzen, Creative Director, Cramer-Krasselt Chick-fil-A Cows DONT BE CHIKIN, BE MY VALUNTINE — Ryan Smith, Account Assistant, Bader Rutter Mr. Clean Mr. Clean, Ever since the Super Bowl, I can’t stop thinking about you. I’m sorry if this is a bit too flirty, but my house is very dirty. Let’s spend Valentine’s Day together! XOXO — Samantha Stump, Assistant Account Executive, Day One Agency Kool Aid Man When I was a kid you kept things sweet, When I was a teen I used you to tie-die sheets, In my 20’s we rekindled and you won me back, As a grown man you’ll give me a heart attack, But I’ll always love you, your sugar is so fine, Please crash through my wall and be my valentine. — Johnathon Cramer, Director of Integrated Marketing, Day One Agency Mayhem (Allstate) Buy her flowers and protect yourself from mayhem like me. — Lily Stockton (Associate Copywriter) and Joey McRobert (Junior Copywriter), Firstborn Tony the Tiger Easy Tigerrrrr. — Ellis Sargeant, Creative Placement, The Sunshine Company Roses are red, This valentine is late, My day could be good, but you could make it greeaatt! — Jon Savitt, Copywriter and Social Media Manager, Punch Digital Strategies Toucan Sam (Froot Loops) Nobody can love me as well as Toucan! — Eun Hee Kwon, Associate Designer, Day One Agency Travelocity Gnome Haven’t seen you since Jazz Fest. (You promised you’d write!) Looks like you’ve been busy, A new stop every night. Cancun, Kentucky, and Copenhagen again? Let’s meet up New Orleans— Just say where and when. Travel’s the greatest, We all know that it’s true. But whoever said ‘Size matters’ Never met you, boo. — The writers at Trumpet Advertising -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
A third grader from Georgia is channeling her love for American Girl dolls into an initiative to bring joy to children with cancer. Nine-year-old Bella Fricker is the founder of “Peace. Love. Bracelets.” ― a business through which she sells homemade bracelets to raise money for bald American Girl dolls. Bella donates these dolls to little girls battling cancer. So far, she’s purchased six dolls and gifted four. Bella’s mom, Valerie Fricker, told The Huffington Post that her daughter came up with the idea for this project back in October. “Unfortunately, four children in our community over the years have had cancer and really left an impression on her,” said the mom. “I have been personally involved in the fundraising efforts within the community in the past.” She added, “I think she has just taken her love and passion for American Girl dolls and turned it into her passion with wanting to make little girls feel happy when they’re in the hospital and have lost their hair.” Bella told HuffPost that one little girl named Lily Anderson, who passed away in 2012, was particularly inspiring to her. One day in October, she decided to do something for other children like Lily. “I was just sitting in my room one day unfolding a table, and my mom comes and she’s like ‘what are you doing?’” Bella recalled. “And I was like ‘I want to make a business to help little kids in the hospital.’” The third grader has a mini office in her playroom, where she makes bracelets, packages them and ships them to her buyers. Anyone can order a bracelet online, and there’s a choice of custom options and “grab bags.” Valerie thinks her daughter has sold around 500 bracelets so far. The Frickers connected with Laurie Cole at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) to coordinate the doll donations. “She works with different child life specialist and doctors and nurses within the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center to find a candidate for the doll,” Valerie said. “Most of the time, donations are just collected at the door. It is a very rare occasion that you get to actually meet the recipient of a donation, but Bella’s dream was to meet the little girls herself and give them these dolls.” Bella’s dream has come true, and she’s been present to gift the dolls to their new owners. “If she is lucky enough to find some information out about the little girl first then we go to the American Girl doll store and purchase an outfit or two,” the mom explained. “For example, if they are a softball player, then Bella will get a softball outfit. If they are a ballerina, Bella will get a ballet outfit,” she added. “She also likes to give them a coloring book and crayons and a bracelet making set, so they have something to do during chemotherapy or hospital stays.” Bella’s immediate goal is to donate 15 dolls to children at CHOA. Next, she wants to raise enough money to donate 20 dolls to kids at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee and 10-15 dolls to patients at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. “I hope I get enough money to buy a lot of dolls and give them to other hospitals around the county,” Bella told HuffPost. Valerie said her daughter is considering raising money to buy Build-A-Bear stuffed animals for kids who don’t play with dolls. They’re also taking the steps to become 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a functioning website. Ultimately, the mom is happy to see her daughter touch families’ lives. “I hope people are inspired to do good for others by reading about Bella’s mission,” she said. Visit Bella’s Facebook page to purchase a bracelet and donate to the cause. The HuffPost Parents newsletter offers a daily dose of personal stories, helpful advice and comedic takes on what it’s like to raise kids today. Sign up here. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
By Heather Taylor The biggest night in football has come and gone, leaving in its wake a historic game (the first ever to go into overtime!) between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons, a show stopping halftime performance from Lady Gaga, and commercials, commercials, commercials. Everyone from Skittles to Netflix was included in the lineup and that includes a healthy handful of some of our favorite brand mascots. From two Colonels to a beloved character returning as a ghost, here’s a look at the icons that put on their game face and joined in the fun. KFC Colonel(s) There they were in “Colonel vs. Colonel” from Wieden & Kennedy. Two Colonels in white suits and string ties talkin’ about chicken. While we’re growing accustomed to the growing list of actors as KFC’s many mascots, there can only be one on Super Bowl Sunday. That “one” is Georgia Gold Colonel, played by a metallic-drenched Billy Zane. Rob Riggle, as the resident Kentucky Buckets Colonel, does what he can to tackle Zane but doesn’t stand a chance under his Midas might or against his “finger licking gold” chicken. Mr. Clean Love or loathe this spot, Leo Burnett Toronto turned heads and got audiences buzzing (and blushing) over the “Cleaner of Your Dreams.” Hey, like the tagline says you gotta love a man who cleans! Michelin Man He only shows up twice in this spot, in the reflection of a windshield and in a puddle, but the Michelin Man subtly proves in “I Need You” that he’s there to bring people together when you need him the most. Created by TBWA/Chiat/Day, the icon helps countless dozens across the world find the ones they love and need to be with for the night — and he does it all with his hands shaped like a heart. Spuds Mackenzie It’s the ghost of brand mascots past! The ‘80s icon for Bud Light returns as a specter in “Ghost Spuds” for everyone who opts to stay in for the night instead of party down. However, the message in this spot from Wieden & Kennedy New York is less focused on partying for the sake of partying. It’s about being there for the friendships and all those moments with good friends that happen over ice-cold cans of Bud Light. AFLAC Duck “Surgery” from Publicis Seattle marks the spokesduck, and brand’s, first commercial debut during the Super Bowl. The message here is simple: to keep your lifestyle healthy (and hang on to your ’67 Corvette), you’ll need AFLAC. And it’s only one quack away. Wendy’s Probably stretching it just a little bit to put VML’s “Cold Storage” on here since Wendy herself only appears at the end as a logo, but we went into overtime last night. Still counts. Cleatus the FOX Sports Robot One of our 2016 Madison Avenue Walk of Fame winners, Cleatus technically wasn’t featured in any spots last night. However, he did appear frequently throughout the game, which is just as good. We like having a mascot on the inside of the action too. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Aflac Incorporated's (AFL) fourth-quarter 2016 operating earnings per share of $1.54 missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.64 by about 6.1% and also decreased 1.3% year over year.
Let's find out how these four insurers - CB, WRB, AFL, RNR might perform when they report their quarterly numbers on Jan 31.
Aflac Inc. (AFL) is scheduled to report fourth-quarter and full-year 2016 results on Jan 31 after the closing bell.
Aflac Incorporated (AFL) recently received rating action from Moody's Investors Service, a wing of Moody's Corporation (MCO).