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New U.S. Ambassador to visit Okinawa in June

Date Posted: 2005-05-27

The new American Ambassador to Japan will visit the island next month to participate in Special Olympics at Kadena Air Base.

Thomas Schieffer, who took Howard Bakerís place as Ambassador only recently, accepted an invitation to visit during a meeting with Okinawa Governor Keiichi Inamine at the Embassy in Tokyo. Inamine presented a welcome from the Okinawan people, then reviewed the sometimes thorny issues linking Americans and Okinawans during the 60 years since the end of World War II.

Inamine voiced concerns that Okinawa has not been recognized fully as a sovereign prefecture, pointing out how the U.S. has treated Japan on base and economic development interests, as compared to Okinawa. He complained that Okinawa is still hosting the bulk of U.S. military bases today.

The Special Olympics will take place June 18th.

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