Remarks
Kurt M. Campbell
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Tokyo, Japan
February 1, 2010


ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: So, good afternoon. Good to see you all. Thank you very much. It's wonderful to be back in Tokyo. I'll be here with General Gregson, and other colleagues from the Department of State and Defense Department. I think, as you all know, Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Okada met about two weeks ago in Hawaii. At that time, both countries affirmed the process that we want to take over the course of the next year - this 50th anniversary year - to take steps to strengthen and deepen our partnership. So as part of that, we have a series of extended meetings that will allow us to discuss the critical issues before us. Obviously, we'll talk about Futenma. We'll talk about the FRF. We’ll talk about all issues associated with the maintenance of our alliance. But we will also talk about critical issues of mutual concern. What are the steps that we need to take after Copenhagen, what are issues of mutual concern associated with trying to get Six-Party Talks reestablished. We’re going to talk about some cyber issues, given recent developments. We’ll be talking about mutual goals and ambitions in Afghanistan as well as other global challenges in piracy and the like. So we have a very broad agenda.

Obviously, I'm here only a week or so after the Nago mayor's election. There's been a lot of speculation about it. I look forward to talking with my counterparts in the Japanese government to hear their views about next steps. We are still of the belief that the plan that we've laid out is the best approach, but at the same time the United States cannot in any way appear to be intransigent or unwilling to talk with Japan about critical issues of mutual security. So, we intend to sit down, to work closely with our Japanese counterparts in an environment of trust and confidence about the best way forward. I think these will be good visits. I hope to interact not just with my counterparts, the professionals at MOFA and the JDA, but also some of the politicians as well. So I'm very excited about the trip and looking forward to it. Thank you all very much, looking forward to it.

QUESTION: Some say that after the election in Nago, some say that the Nago plan is not feasible anymore. What's your reaction to that?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: Well, local conditions matter, but, at the same time, issues associated with the U.S.-Japan security partnership have to be made in both capitals. And so that's why I'm here to discuss with the senior officials in Japan about their best approximation about the way forward. As I said, we still think that the plan we've laid out is the best way forward, but we also need to hear from our interlocutors questions, concerns, also ideas for how to go forward, so that’s why I’m here. I'll have more to say as the trip goes on. Thank you all for coming to the airport, good to see you.

[This is a mobile copy of Remarks to the Media at Narita Airport]