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Key U.S. leaders to visit Okinawa

Date Posted: 2010-06-17

The U.S. Ambassador to Japan is to visit Okinawa this week while a senior U.S. State Department official will be the first American leader to meet Japanís new Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Kurt Campbell, the assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, is due in Tokyo today to meet with senior officials. Heís expected to hold talks with Prime Minister Naoto Kan, as well as Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku and other leaders. Heís expected to address the controversial Futenma Marine Corps Air Station relocation, as well as concerns over North Koreaís latest outcries.

The senior government official is also expected to set the stage for a meeting between Prime Minister Kan and U.S. President Barack Obama next month in Canada, where both will be attending a summit of world leaders.

John Roos, the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, will arrive in Okinawa tomorrow on a four-day mission to explain the U.S. position on the Futenma relocation and other base issues. Roos is expected to solicit support from Governor Hirokazu Nakaima, and also to get his ideas on how to promote development within Okinawa Prefecture.

Heís expected to also meet with the president of the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly, Zenshin Takamine, and to visit the new Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, the islandís new graduate university that begins academic operations in 2012.

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