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US Speaker Hastert rebuffs Inamine’s base demands

Date Posted: 2002-01-17

Governor Keiichi Inamine met with Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Dennis Hastert on Jan 12 at Shuri Castle in Naha City. Members of the delegation accompanying Hastert included three Republican congressmen and women as well as U.S. Forces Japan commander Lt. Gen. Thomas Waskow. During their meeting Inamine demanded a reduction of U.S. bases concentrated in Okinawa, to which the speaker replied that the issue was a domestic one and should be handled as such. He also said that he was proud of U.S. forces stationed on the island, emphasizing the crucial role they play in maintaining security for Okinawa and Japan as well as the importance of Okinawa both militarily and geographically.

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