Remarks Upon Arrival in Japan

Kurt M. Campbell
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Narita Airport
Tokyo, Japan
October 11, 2009

ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: We have been involved in a very deep set of consultations with our new partners in the Japanese government, and we’re talking about a whole range of issues – our alliance issues, questions associated with regional security and other global responsibilities. On this particular trip, I’m going to try to talk to some leaders in the DPJ and hear their views about their ongoing reviews and provide input and details where I can.

QUESTION: The refueling mission in the Indian Ocean is the main issue?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: No, that’s one of the issues that we’re going to discuss. We’re going to talk about Okinawa. We’ll talk about really every aspect of our alliance relationship. I’d like to hear from my Japanese colleagues about how their review of specific foreign policy and national security issues is going, and just hear how the first month or so in government is playing out.

QUESTION: How about the relocation of Futenma Airbase?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: Yes, we’re going to be discussing that.

QUESTION: And Kim Jong-il expressed his willingness to resume Six-Party Talks in his talking with the Chinese prime minister. What do you think about that?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: Well, we were pleased that the North Korean leadership underscored – with some caveats that we’re going to have to explore in greater detail – but essentially reaffirmed the commitment to return to the Six-Party framework and to abide by some of the agreements that they have signed up for in the past. As you know, there is a very clear position on the part of the United States, in Japan, South Korea and China, that North Korea must accept its commitments made on several occasions to a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.

QUESTION: When will you start the bilateral talks with North Korea?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: No decision has yet been made, and we feel that we’ve learned important lessons about how it’s critical to consult and to be very patient and cautious in our overall approach.


ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: Thank you very much. It’s good to see all of you. I look forward to seeing you in Tokyo.