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New foreign minister commits to Okinawa troop reductions

Date Posted: 2004-10-01

Nobutaka Machimura calls balancing Okinawa’s demands for troop reductions with Japan’s defense requirements “a difficult issue”, but says he’ll work to make everyone happy.

The new Foreign Minister appointed by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi this week says he’ll “seek simultaneous pursuit of maintaining deterrence while reducing the burden on Okinawa.” He promised to work with U.S. Forces Japan on making cutbacks happen.

He says, though, that the United States and Japan are working together, moving with the same values as they deal with a market economy.

Machimura says he wants to enhance to U.S.-Japanese relationship, and told reporters “we are in close cooperation with America on the battle against terrorism, and with the Iraq and North Korea issues.”

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