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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                            (Okinawa, Japan)
For Immediate Release                                      July 22, 2000


I am grateful that the Senate has acted expeditiously to confirm Norman Y. Mineta as Secretary of Commerce, and am pleased that he was sworn in to office today.

As a member of Congress for 21 years, Mr. Mineta was a leader on trade, technology and other issues critical to the emerging digital economy. He brings to his new post not only an in-depth understanding of American business and the needs of our high-tech economy, but also a deep concern for people - especially those not yet fully participating in this economy. He will play a crucial role in keeping our economic strategy on track, opening trade around the world, investing in our people, promoting high technology, and bridging the digital divide.

Mr. Mineta also has been a passionate voice for opportunity and justice for all. Stirred by his experiences as a young boy during World War II, when he and his family were relocated to a Japanese American internment camp, he has fought tirelessly to ensure that others are spared such injustice. I am proud to welcome him as the first Asian Pacific American ever to hold a post in the President's Cabinet, and congratulate him on his confirmation.