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Outgoing Ambassador Speaks on Scandals

Date Posted: 2001-02-09

Outgoing US ambassador Thomas Foley spoke on military related scandals and the base issue at a farewell speech at the US Consulate in Urasoe last Friday. Foley’s post becomes vacant as the Bush administration appoints its new envoys. He said he felt very sorry about all the incidents involving members of the US forces and was not trying to minimize their impact. But he said there was some emotional media reporting on the events and was dissatisfied with the attitudes of some media.

The ambassador said the US forces’ efforts to prevent such unfortunate incidents before they happened and to be good neighbors with local people were ignored by the local media.

On the Okinawa Assembly’s reaction to the scandals, its resolution to decrease Marine numbers, Foley said “there will be a continuous talks between US and Japan based on the Japan-US Security declaration of 1996. The new Bush government is demanding a restructure of US military overseas, though there is no plan to decrease the US military in Japan at this moment.” Foley said these issues should be discussed in relation to changing international conditions.

On the time limit of the replacement for the Futenma air facility, he said an announcement would be made on the US military’s demands and that the issue would later be discussed by both sides.

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