Remarks Upon Arrival in Japan

Kurt M. Campbell
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Narita Airport
Narita, Japan
March 9, 2011

ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: Good afternoon. It’s very good to be back in Japan. I’m here to consult with colleagues and counterparts in the Japanese government. We are in preparations for the upcoming 2+2 meeting between the United States and Japan. It’s very significant, given the many developments that are taking place in the Asia-Pacific region, and also to coordinate closely in areas where the United States and Japan are working together outside of Asia. We’re very grateful for the cooperation that we have seen between our two governments, and we seek to build on it here in 2011 and beyond.

I will also, in all of my meetings, offer deep apologies for the developments in Okinawa and for the misunderstandings that have taken place. I think as you all know, the alleged statements in no way reflect U.S. government policy, or indeed the deep feelings of the American people towards the people of Okinawa. I personally have spent the better part of my professional career trying to ease the burden of the people in Okinawa, and I have worked to try to build stronger understanding between Okinawans and Americans. We’re very grateful for all Okinawans do for the United States and for Americans that live there. We are deeply saddened by these recent developments and I will in all of my meetings express deep regret for the misunderstandings that have taken place. These statements not only reflect my own personal attitudes, but the attitudes of the American government.

I will have another press opportunity tomorrow afternoon, and I’ll have an opportunity to say a little bit more after I’ve had a chance to meet with my counterparts and, again, offer very sincere apologies on behalf of the United States.

Thank you all very much.