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John Roos nomination goes to Senate

Date Posted: 2009-07-23

The man President Barack Obama wants to be U.S. Ambassador to Japan goes before the American Senate today, where he’ll face questioning about his credentials, which show a lack of diplomatic and security experience.

John Roos, a California attorney who’s been one of President Obama’s top fundraisers during the presidential campaign, is Obama’s choice to be the U.S. Ambassador in Tokyo, where he’ll be the point man for U.S. policies on Japan. Roos’ lack of experience in diplomatic and security arenas have raised eyebrows about Obama’s choice at a time when North Korea’s saber rattling and threats of nuclear and missile threats have northern Pacific countries concerned, if not worried.

Of particular interest to Okinawa, and Okinawan politicians, is the California-based Roos’ thinking on the security pact that links Japan and the United States to a plan for pulling out 8,000 Marines from Okinawa and transferring them to Guam by 2014. Some Okinawan officials want changes to the plan, which is predicated on moving Futenma Marine Corps Air Station from Ginowan City to a site at Camp Schwab and Oura Bay on the island’s northern coast, while others want the air station completely removed from the Prefecture.

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