04 September 2017

News Story: Japan defense chief asks new US envoy to pay heed to base concerns

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera asked new U.S. Ambassador to Japan William Hagerty on Friday to pay heed to Japanese people's concerns over the hosting of U.S. bases.

"On the (U.S. military's) Osprey aircraft, I believe great care is taken in ensuring their safety, but various concerns are still voiced in Japan," Onodera told Hagerty, who paid a courtesy call a day after he assumed his post.

"I hope you will lend an ear to the voices of local people, including on issues related to the U.S. forces in Japan," the minister also said during the meeting, the start of which was open to the media.

Hagerty, a businessman close to U.S. President Donald Trump, arrived in Japan at a time when the bilateral alliance is becoming more important in the face of repeated ballistic missile launches by North Korea, including one that flew over Japan into the Pacific Ocean earlier this week.

Read the full story at The Mainichi