Press Availability at U.S. Embassy Tokyo Auditorium
Kurt M. Campbell
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
September 18, 2009
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ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: Thank you, David. Good evening. It's great to see so many old friends and wonderful to be back in Tokyo today. Let me just begin with a fundamental statement if I may.
After deep consultations with Japanese friends, colleagues in the Foreign Ministry, and the new players in the government, I'm very confident that the United States and Japan are going to be able to work very well together in the coming months and years ahead. We, over the course of the last few days, have begun a dialogue about how we want to conduct our consultations on a range of important issues. I brought with me best wishes from our government, still a relatively new government, to theirs, wishing the new prime minister and the new foreign minister well. We look forward to meetings next week in New York between President Obama and Secretary Clinton with new Foreign Minister Okada and the Prime Minister.
During the course of our sessions, we reaffirmed the basic fundamentals of our alliance, and we talked about how we want to go about our process of dialogue and discussion in the weeks ahead. I think what's clear is that we want to work together in the most positive way. I think on the U.S. side we want to demonstrate patience, a commitment to listen, and to work closely. I think we want very much to underscore the areas of commonality in terms of how we approach foreign policy.
We’ve been very struck by the leadership already that the new government has taken on a range of issues on climate change, a strong commitment to development assistance in South Asia and Afghanistan and Pakistan, and a desire to work closely with the United States on issues of common concern like the provocations in North Korea and the determination to work to secure a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and hopefully a resumption of Six-Party Talks. I think the United States has underscored with our Japanese interlocutors that we view Japan as an equal partner. We welcome Japanese leadership and we see a Japan that is committed to build strong relations in Asia. We support this. We want to see Japan working well with her neighbors, with South Korea and China. We see no contradiction between an effort to build stronger ties in Asia with the maintenance of a strong partnership and alliance with the United States.
Overall, I think we are in a very good track to maintain an extraordinarily close relationship in the months ahead. Next year is our 50th anniversary, and we want to take special efforts not only to look back at what we’ve accomplished, but also to look at the issues that we can work on together going forward. I think we recognize also that for this alliance to maintain its vitality and its importance, it has to embrace change and we welcome a strong dialogue, an open dialogue with the new DPJ government in the months ahead. That's the general approach. I'm going to disappoint you a little bit because I'm not going to get into some details associated with some of the issues of our alliance. But I’d be happy to take any general questions going forth. Thank you.
QUESTION: Thank you, David. I am Satoru Suzuki with TV Asahi. Welcome back to Japan, Mr. Secretary. The DPJ government has made it very, very clear that it is going to try to wrest the power from the bureaucrats and put politicians in charge of policy and the budget. Now Mr. Secretary, you are a political appointee appointed by the President of the United States, and I'm wondering whether there is any change in the way you deal with the Japanese bureaucrats at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other government agencies in Tokyo. Is your counterpart or are your chief interlocutors still the director generals at MOFA or are you now placing more emphasis in dealing with the minister and the political leaders? Thank you.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: Thank you very much. Well, let me first say that over the course of the last several months we’ve had a variety of people come to Washington who say, look, I'm representing or I’m working with the DPJ. Now that we have a government in place - a new prime minister, foreign minister - we think it’s extremely important to work through the official channels of our government between the United States and Japan. I must say I find the Foreign Ministry in particular to be among the most professional and capable group of people that I’ve ever worked with and the early indications are that there is a strong relationship that's beginning to form between the Foreign Minister and his team. Clearly there are issues that will have to be resolved going forward, but I anticipate close working relationships will continue between the United States and Japan at every level - at a political level, at a professional level between the ministries, and also at the working level.
QUESTION: So you are working with…(inaudible)?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: Well actually, what I’m saying is that I’m going to work with the entire Japanese government and I think it's going to be important particularly in this early phase to have the broadest possible dialogue with our Japanese interlocutors, but I am working very closely with the Foreign Ministry as well.
QUESTION: Do you have…(inaudible)?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: Yes. But I also think we have a new team in place. I've been fortunate over the course of the last several years. For many years I was out of power. The Democrats in Japan have been out of power. So we got to know each other, and so it’s been good. Many of these relationships for us are not new ones. We’ve had dialogue over many years, and I think we will see a range of discussion taking place at the political level and also at the Foreign Ministry. I will say that you will see over the course of the next several weeks very intensive discussions with Americans coming to Tokyo and also Japanese interlocutors coming to the United States. I think that's important, and I think it will be valuable to make sure that we are in the closest possible consultations.
QUESTION: Thank you very much. My name is Takuma Yoshioka of NHK. I have three questions. First, about the alternative contribution to Afghanistan instead of the refueling mission. There are several options being discussed including non-military operations, for example, sending school teachers to Afghanistan. Could the U.S. be satisfied with non-military intervention instead of military support? This is my first question. Second, about North Korea, the Department of State said they were prepared to enter into a bilateral talk in order to bring them back to the Six-Party process. So how could you ensure that North Korea doesn't use this as a substitute for the Six-Party Talks? How did you explain this to Mr. Okada and the other Japanese officials? Lastly, a little bit domestic questions, but about the so-called Japan-U.S. secret agreement. We confirmed that you were requested cooperation to investigate the secret agreement from Mr. Okada today. So from your side, what are you going to do?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: Thank you very much. Well, first of all let me just say on the first point, I've been very impressed by the public comments of new Foreign Minister Okada underscoring the important role that Japan has played in South Asia - not only in Afghanistan but Pakistan - and I think we look forward to working with Japan as they consider what their contributions, their further contributions, might be to the promotion of peace and stability in those areas. We look forward to having strong discussions with our Japanese counterparts on the kind of contributions that Japan will be prepared to make.
Secondly, on the issue of North Korea. Over the course of the last several months we have had the closest possible coordination and discussion with Japan about North Korea, and clearly we share similar perspectives when it comes to the provocations that North Korea has taken over the course of the last several months. Ambassador Bosworth and Ambassador Sung Kim were in Tokyo, Seoul, and Beijing last week, and in their meetings I think we reaffirmed that the goal of our future diplomacy with North Korea must be to ensure that there is a commitment to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, that North Korea abide by its commitments made in the Six-Party framework in both 2005 and 2007, and that any diplomacy with North Korea be conducted in a Six-Party framework. I must say each of the partners - Japan, China in particular, and South Korea, the United States, and Russia - all believe that is essential to get back to the Six-Party framework for any negotiations. If we have any initial bilateral interaction with North Korea, it will be as a means to get back to the Six-Party Talks. We have no intention of conducting bilateral negotiations with North Korea absent a Six-Party framework. I think there is a greater trust and confidence now among all the partners about what the goals of the United States and indeed all the component players within the Six-Party process is.
Third, on the issue of the nuclear history. Through the Freedom of Information Act and a variety of other mechanisms, documents from the United States have been made available that paint a fairly clear picture of the history associated with agreements between the United States and Japan - now almost 50 years ago - and those documents essentially speak for themselves. We won’t have more to add on that publicly. I will say that our desire, of course, is in the months ahead to ensure that most of our interaction will be forward-looking and that we recognize that we face many challenges - on climate change, on North Korea, on Iran, on Burma - and that the United States and Japan must remain forward focused and that that hopefully will be where most of our attention goes. So I think our general practice here will be to generally say little about this overall process. We do care very much about how sensitive information is handled by Japan. We recognize that over the course of the next few months that we’re going to have to work closely together on a range of issues, and we want very much for this matter to be handled in such a way that in no way undercuts the strength of the U.S.-Japan relationship.
QUESTION: Hi. Nami Inoue from TBS. In your discussion with Prime Minister Hatoyama, have you discussed about the relocation of the Futenma Air Base, and is the U.S. open to the idea of changing the already agreed plan? Also, have you discussed about revising the Status of Forces Agreement?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: Well, personally, I've had no conversations to date with the Prime Minister. Our excellent ambassador here, John Roos, has had some initial meetings. I'm not going to get into specifics of the bilateral issues between the United States and Japan. I will just say that we’ve tried to be clear in private on areas that we believe that continuity is important. We have also indicated places where we think it’s important to stay the course. But it also must be said that in this kind of alliance and partnership, it’s important for us at the outset to be prepared to listen and to talk with Japanese counterparts. We can’t dictate. We have to listen, and clearly the new government has committed to some reviews in terms of certain aspect of our alliance. We want to work with Japan on that, we want to provide our input going forward. But beyond that, we’ve tried to be very clear in private where we think the alliance needs to maintain momentum and continuity. Thanks.
QUESTION: Thank you very much. Good to see you. Thank you very much for your time. I have two questions regarding the nuclear issues. This gentleman asked you about the nuclear secret agreement and this issue has been a very hot issue for several months and Okada said he is going to clarify the case, I mean investigate the whole document, and digging up the whole document in the government and maybe also in your government too. But this process, clarification of the – this is a nuclear operation issue.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: I’m sorry? Nuclear?
QUESTION: Nuclear operation. I mean, neither confirms or denies your government’s policy. So this clarification policy would undermine the NCND policy of the United States? Also, do you have concern on that? That’s that's my first question. And also, last time you came to Tokyo in July, you started the consultation with the Japanese government on the nuclear umbrella issue, so we have now a new government. Mr. Okada is a big advocate of non-first-use of nuclear weapons. So, what would be this new process of this consultation process the nuclear umbrella would be evolved in their future under the government of Mr. Hatoyama? Thank you very much.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: We have yet to get into some of the details that you have discussed. These essentially were our first meetings, and we talked primarily about the basics of how we are going to conduct our interactions, and the issues on which we need to have further discussions. The primary point that the United States is making on the nuclear review is that we want this fundamentally to be about the past. We recognize that this is a hot issue in Japan, and we, as I’ve indicated earlier, documents have been released in the past that paint a very clear picture of that history. We’ll have little more to add to this. In terms of the current situation, we look forward to having a range of dialogue with our Japanese interlocutors on a number of nuclear issues. One will be on the strength of the American nuclear commitment, the extended deterrence commitment to Japan and East Asia. We’ll also want to talk more about the plans for implementing aspects of President Obama’s speech in Prague about how to diminish the role of nuclear weapons in global politics. Third, we will want to have a general discussion about how the United States plans to conduct its overall operations - military operations in the Asian Pacific region. I think that’s a general approach that we’ll want to take, and then some of the details that you mentioned I think will be taken up as part of this overall dialogue.
QUESTION: Hi. This is Aika Nanao from Nippon Television. The State Department officials, including yourself, have repeatedly negated a possibility to revise some of the controversial issues, including the relocation of the Futenma base or the Status of Forces Agreement, such as the lady from TBS has asked you a question about it. Do you yourself and the State Department have any room to get to the table of negotiation and respond to such proposals by the Japanese government on some of the really sensitive and controversial issues?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: I don't want to take issue with your language, but it’s the idea that this is a negotiation. First of all, we are partners, the security relationship and the alliance relationship with the United States really is much more about consultation and dialogue than it is about negotiation. In that context, I think one of the things that I assured my counterparts in the government is that at the outset, you know, how we begin this process is very important. We indicated that we would not be discussing these issues in great detail in public. What I tried to indicate earlier is that we were very clear on areas where we think that the United States and Japan are on the right course and that forward momentum and progress is essential. But at the same time, we recognize that as part of a partnership of equals, that it is critical for the United States to be prepared to sit down and listen and discuss with the new government their views, their aspirations, and their general plans. This is the second or third day of this new government and the U.S. government has just gone through a fairly prolonged transition, so it’s going to take some time for a dialogue to develop between the United States and Japan on some of these issues. The most important thing for us is to be patient and to understand that it will take some time for us to agree on areas that will require further dialogue and areas that we can move ahead with the current plan of action. I'm not going to get into the details that you raise, but I will say that I am here early, the second or third day of the government, to demonstrate our willingness to work closely as a partner with the greatest possible respect and to publicly stand up and dismiss or to indicate that a dialogue is not important is no way to treat an ally and partner like Japan.
QUESTION: My name is Richard Susilo from Indonesia Economic Magazine. I’m sorry, but I have to ask you about my country. As you might be aware that next month our cabinet will be the new cabinet for Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, do you know? Is there a plan by your government for the two heads of state to meet together maybe in Singapore in the near future? The next question is not a question exactly, but I would like to have your comment because three days ago, the Indonesian police have shot down one of the most wanted terrorists in the world, Mr. Noordin Top. So I would like to have your comments about this. Thank you.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: First of all, I think as you know that one of the first things that Secretary Clinton did on her first trip to Asia and to Indonesia was to put in place a comprehensive strategic partnership between the United States and Indonesia, and this is an attempt to build a much deeper relationship between the United States and Indonesia over the course of the next few months. Clearly we want to take advantage of the unique roots that President Obama has in the Asia-Pacific region, and particularly in Indonesia, and we’ve been involved in a very deep process to build stronger educational, cultural, environmental, and political ties between our two countries. The Indonesian President and the American President have spoken on a few occasions and I think President Obama looks forward to seeing SBY in Singapore this fall, and also looks forward to an early visit to Indonesia. And I think he's committed as such. I think we are excited that this is an indication of a deeper American commitment - not just to Northeast Asia, but to Southeast Asia - and we’d like to see the U.S.-Indonesian relationship take the next step up the ladder and that this become one of the most important bilateral relations of the United States in Asia. We are very much impressed with the manner in which Indonesia has conducted its recent elections. How they have stood firm in the face of another terrorist attack and the activities and the effectiveness of the Indonesian police in the recent operation underscore its commitment to continuing the struggle against fundamentalism and extremism in Indonesia. We could not be more pleased by the path and pace of this relationship. I know the President, the Secretary, and indeed the entire U.S. government look forward to taking U.S.-Indonesian relations to the next level.
QUESTION: Hi. Charlie Reed, Stars and Stripes. First question: The Pentagon has said that the 2006 realignment plan is nonnegotiable. You’ve just spoken tonight about a willingness to listen, but is there wiggle room? Is there room to negotiate on that 2006 realignment plan?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: I would say that the United States believes that this is the best plan and that we’ve been very clear that this is the way forward. At the same time, we’ve heard and seen statements out of the new Japanese government that they want a dialogue with us and that they want to talk about the elements of our overall partnership, and it is an incumbent upon the United States to set a tone at the outset that we must be prepared to listen and to talk about all aspects of our relationship and it’s a careful path that we have to walk. But by issuing dictates or saying that certain things are impossible and can’t be talked about, I think that could lead to exactly the kind of backlash that we all seek to avoid. Our goal here is to both send a message of firmness and resolve, but also a willingness to have discussions and dialogue about the issues that matter most to Japan and the United States.
QUESTION: One more question, too. Is the Hague Treaty part of the talks that are going to happen – the Hague treaty on international child abduction?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: Yes, and we had deliberations about those today. Yes, we did.
QUESTION: Can you give me any indication of the progress? The new government has said that it seems to be an issue that they would support and that treaty seems like something that would move forward with it. Is that what you are hearing as well?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: I would say we were pleased with the initial discussions we had today.
QUESTION: Miya Tanaka from Kyodo News. I have one question on the secret pact issue. You said that U.S. documents have already shown a clear picture of history. But does that mean that the United States is not willing to take any specific actions to facilitate Japan’s efforts to get to the bottom of the secret pact issue?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: I think for right now I’ll let what was said stand. I think I had a very good discussion today with the Foreign Minister. He underscored to me how important he thought this issue was to him personally and to his government, and we confirmed our commitment to work closely with Japan on a range of issues. I think this particular issue - again, the historical evidence speaks for itself - and private discussions that we’ve had with the Japanese government, I think we’d like to maintain a certain privacy about them.
QUESTION: Japanese paper, Mainichi Shimbun. My name is Sugio. My question is whether, if there is a discussion going on in the U.S. government or in the dialogue you had today with the Japanese counterparts on whether or not President Obama should visit Hiroshima or Nagasaki later this year?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: We had a general discussion about the substance of the President’s visit here, and some of the hopes that we have for what we’d like to accomplish, but we did not get into the details of other aspects and I would really refer you to the White House on those specific matters. But I will also say I think at this juncture that there are no plans for the president to visit Hiroshima.
QUESTION: Isabel Reynolds from Reuters. You mentioned earlier that you hoped the discussion of the secret nuclear pact would be about the past, but Prime Minister Hatoyama has said that he wants a promise from Mr. Obama not to bring nuclear weapons into Japan, and that he would look positively at the issue of putting the three nonnuclear principles into law. That sounds to me almost like a rejection of extended nuclear deterrence. What’s your view on that?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: Let me just say, I think that one of the issues that the United States and Japan need to tackle over the course of the next several months is a comprehensive dialogue on nuclear issues and as part of that would include issues associated with extended deterrence, NCND, and aspects of the so-called nuclear posture review that’s ongoing in the United States and how that comports with the commitments that the president has made as part of his Prague speech. And so we have a full and rich set of issues that we will need to discuss and we are committed to doing that with the Japanese government in the time ahead.
QUESTION: Mure Dickie of the Financial Times. Good evening. You’ve stressed the importance of listening to Japan and understanding, I guess, what they want from the relationship. But this is also an opportunity for the U.S., I guess, to look for new things from Japan, for new contributions. Do you have any “asks” for the new government here?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: Yes we do, and we began that process today. First of all, indeed Japan - let’s be clear - this is an historic change in Japanese politics. It’s unlike anything we’ve experienced over the course of the last few generations. So we’re trying to take this seriously and approach it from the right vantage of deep respect, patience, a comprehensive approach. In this process we’ve indicated to Japanese interlocutors there are some things that we’d like to see from their side. First of all, we sought to convey a greater sense of urgency to Japanese friends about what’s transpiring in Iran and make clear that some of the provocative steps that Iran is taking on the nuclear side and in terms of missiles is creating great anxiety not just in United States but in the surrounding region, and we are going to ask for more support and understanding from Japan in its diplomacy vis-a-vis Iran. Secondly, the United States is considering some new approaches to Burma that would build on an existing and very strong package of sanctions, and we want a closer dialogue with Japan on their aspirations and the kinds of engagements they’ve had. I think we also recognize that Japan has taken a powerful and courageous stand on climate change, and we seek both a dialogue and a set of practical programs that will be designed to get at best practices for engineering and design and other aspects of a clean energy economy. I think we would also like to see a much closer dialogue again between the United States and Japan on North Korea on a whole range of issues. I would say overall we were very impressed with the attitude of the new government. Not only were they keen and prepared to put their issues on the table, they listened carefully to ours. So I very much appreciate the question. That’s exactly the spirit in which we’ve tried to undertake this new phase in our relationship.
QUESTION: Sorry this is Masa Ota again with Kyodo. Sorry for that. Just one question regarding North Korea. You say that there will not be a bilateral discussion without getting back to the Six-Party Talks. But we just got the report from Beijing and Pyongyang of a senior official of the Chinese government - Dai Bingguo - he went to Pyongyang and he met Dear Leader Kim Jong Il this afternoon. Kim Jong Il said that he’s going to discuss his country’s nuclear dispute in multilateral and bilateral talks and work towards the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. This is according to Xinhua News Agency. If you got this report already, what’s your response and now you are getting more willing to discuss with North Korea in the bilateral context?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: I didn’t completely understand what you read and I have not seen that report. But let me just say that the important development in recent months has been the determination on the part of China to maintain the Six-Party framework as an essential component of negotiations with North Korea and the need for North Korea to reaffirm the commitments it’s made in that framework to denuclearization in 2005 and 2007. If I understood that report correctly and I haven’t seen it, it sounds as if North Korea is underscoring that it will accept those conditions. Our overall approach will be that any negotiations, fundamental negotiations with North Korea, have to be done in a Six-Party framework. But within that context, there can be dialogue between the various parties not only between North Korea and China, North Korea, South Korea, North Korea and Japan, but also North Korea and the United States. But what we will not do is enter into a separate bilateral diplomacy between the United States and North Korea outside of the Six-Party framework.
QUESTION: Satoru Suzuki with TV-Asahi again. Mr. Secretary, another question about North Korea. When former President Bill Clinton visited Pyongyang, he met with Chairman Kim Jong Il and he raised the issue of Japanese abductees, and we’ve learned that he did so at his own personal initiative with the consent of both the Japanese and U.S. governments. Now, as the United States prepares to go into bilateral talks with North Korea, is there any possibility of the U.S. negotiators raising the issue of Japanese abductees as Mr. Clinton did in Pyongyang? And is there anything else the Obama Administration as a whole and your new Ambassador to Tokyo, Ambassador John Roos, can do to help Japan with the abductee issues?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: First of all, we will continue to urge North Korean interlocutors - and by the way, as will other six party players - to renew its commitments and to make progress on the issue of the abductees. So we will raise this issue in our initial interactions with North Korea. It’s a semantic difference, but these are really not talks. They are discussions aimed at resuming dialogue and negotiations as part of the Six-Party framework. President Clinton put this issue near the top of the list in terms of importance, and the United States continues to put high priority on this issue. We will stand with Japan in this matter. We will work to see that this issue is addressed honestly and fairly by North Korea. We believe that this is an appropriate issue for the Six-Party Talks, and it will be part of our dialogue going forward.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: Well I think Ambassador Roos has plans initially to meet with the abductee families, and I think we are going to want to have a very close relationship with the Japanese government to get a good sense of what their goals and objectives are if we are able to restart Six-Party Talks.
QUESTION: You had discussed part of today’s or this trip’s talks of how to move forward. How will you move forward? Can you give us any indication of any sorts of timelines or the approach that you’re going to take in all these talks?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: Sure. Thank you. First of all we have a series of high-level meetings ongoing. Next week the Secretary and the President will have some important interactions with their counterparts. I think the idea at these meetings is to set a larger strategic framework for our partnership.
QUESTION: (inaudible)…so the Prime Minister and the President are planning to meet?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: I believe that’s the case, yes, in New York, and the Secretary and the Foreign Minister. Following that, Deputy Secretary of State Steinberg will be coming to Tokyo and at those sessions, we’ll have more detailed discussions on some of the matters that have been raised today. Following that, Secretary Gates will be coming to Tokyo in October. I think the goal is to first set our sights on a strong and effective visit of President Obama to Tokyo in November to make sure that we have a positive agenda. We also have to recognize that some of these reviews will take time and that we will need to provide our input over the course of several weeks and again some patience and some commitment to recognition that there will be challenges along the way. Our goal is to try to ensure that over the course of the next two to three months the broad parameters of our relationship will be very clear. Now, the truth is that Asia is full of lots of surprises. We will need to work together quickly to resolve differences and to make sure that we’re on the same page going forward.
QUESTION: Somewhat connected with that question, there is a bit of a debate here about what Prime Minister Hatoyama should seek to achieve in his meeting with President Obama. He says he wants to build a trusting relationship. Some people think the right way to do that is to just say hello and not say too much for fear of saying the wrong thing. Other people think that we should come out of this meeting with some form of substantive progress in relations.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: Well, it’s their first meeting. I think there’s going to be some “get to know you” interaction. I think that’s appropriate, and the truth is, Presidential Obama will be coming to Tokyo in two months time or less, and the reason that you have a State Department and a Foreign Ministry and National Security Council staff is to prepare the way for a substantive set of interactions. So I think what will be important is for the two men to establish a personal rapport, hopefully a degree of confidence to underscore some overarching principles for how the two countries will work together, and then put respective bureaucracies in play to ensure that at their next meeting, a comprehensive set of achievements and a strong process hopefully will be in place. I’ll take one more question if that’s alright. Thanks.
QUESTION: Mr. Assistant Secretary, just an idea from me because I have spoken already before three or four years ago with former Prime Minister Abe. Why don’t you involve also Indonesia – not only six talks party, but seven talks party? Why? Because this especially for Japan, because Indonesia is close to Japan and Indonesia is also close to North Korea. So with involving Indonesia such as with the union - what is the name of the person in Jakarta several years ago. Indonesia has played a very good role for this one and Indonesia, I think, is willing to do that one. So is just a suggestion from me.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: Thank you. I can take one more question. Please come on up.
QUESTION: Hello, my name is Go Yoshida of TV Asahi. What was your impression overall of the difference between the DPJ and the LDP?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: Well first of all, the truth of the matter is that these are not new meetings for me. I have known the key players in the DPJ for over a decade and many for coming up on 20 years. I’m pleased to say that we’ve made a major effort to know not just one party in Japan but all the other players, and so when I met Foreign Minister Okada today -- we’ve met over a dozen times over the course of the last 10-15 years, he’s an old friend -- I was very struck by how serious he was, how committed he was to the task, his strong support for the U.S.-Japan alliance. I was impressed by the respect he showed his colleagues from the Foreign Ministry, and I was quite gratified at his determination to build a strong relationship not only with Secretary Clinton, Deputy Steinberg, but myself. So I felt very good about the meetings. It’s still very early in the new government. I’ve only met in this new capacity a few of the players. But so far, I’m impressed with how they are conducting their business, and I think we can be very good partners going forward. In their seriousness and commitment to purpose, they remind me very much of the LDP. They recognize that governing a country is serious business and we appreciate that.
[This is a mobile copy of Press Availability at U.S. Embassy Tokyo Auditorium]
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