Thursday, April 29, 2010

Question: On Japan -

Philip J. Crowley, Assistant Secretary
Daily Press Briefing, Washington, DC
April 28, 2010

: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- I’m wondering if you have anything further on Assistant Secretary Campbell’s talks there. Specifically on Futenma, are the two sides getting any closer together? And have we actually received a Japanese plan now for Futenma? I know in the past, you talked about them floating ideas. Are we still in the ideas stage or is there actually a plan that’s being discussed?

MR. CROWLEY: I think we’re still in the consultation stage.

QUESTION: And is there any way of saying whether the two sides are coming any closer together?

MR. CROWLEY: I wouldn’t characterize it at this point.

QUESTION: You wouldn’t characterize it as saying that they’re coming together? Because I think the bottom line here is that we’ve been left with a distinct impression that you want it to remain in the consultations phase forever.

MR. CROWLEY: I don’t think that’s true. I mean, we understand the impact that our operations have in the region. We also understand the benefits in terms of --

QUESTION: But isn’t it --

MR. CROWLEY: -- regional security and Japanese security. We both seek an arrangement that is operationally viable and politically sustainable, and that remains the subject of our ongoing consultation with the Japanese Government.

QUESTION: Right, but isn’t your position that something that is sustainable and – or was it something sustainable and politically viable?

MR. CROWLEY: And viable.

QUESTION: Right. Isn’t your position that the current arrangement is exactly that? Isn’t that still your position and that there’s been (inaudible) changes?

MR. CROWLEY: We have not changed our view on the existing agreement, but we continue our consultations which (inaudible) --

QUESTION: All right. Which means that you’ve gotten nowhere?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I would --

QUESTION: You’re not any – you’re not any – this issue has still not been resolved; you’re exactly where you were a year ago --

MR. CROWLEY: Well --

QUESTION: -- or whenever the new government came; correct?

MR. CROWLEY: We continue our consultations with Japan. I don’t think – to Andy’s question, I don’t think we’ve arrived at where Japan has offered its final understanding. They promised to do that in May, but that’s one of the reasons why Kurt Campbell remains – or is in Tokyo as we speak. All right – no, I’m sorry, he’s left Tokyo and he’s on his way back – but why he stopped in Tokyo yesterday and today.

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