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Newly Appointed Defense Minister Taro Kono Visits U.S. Facilities in Okinawa

19-007 | Sept. 30, 2019

United States Forces Japan Office of Public Affairs provides the following readout from today’s visit to U.S. facilities in Okinawa by newly appointed Defense Minister Taro Kono: 

U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ) and the Third Marine Expeditionary Force (III MEF) hosted Defense Minister Taro Kono today in Okinawa for briefings and an orientation. Lieutenant General H. Stacy Clardy, III MEF Commander, appreciated the opportunity to discuss the strategically critical role U.S. and Japanese forces play in the region.    

The orientation included visits to Camp Schwab and Camp Foster.  During his visit to Camp Schwab, Minister Kono received a briefing from the Okinawa Defense Bureau on the Futenma Replacement Facility, highlighting the close partnership between U.S. and Japanese forces. 

After his arrival at Camp Foster, the Minister conducted an office call with Lt. Gen. Clardy and received command briefs.  During the briefings, Lt. Gen. Clardy stressed the importance of the Alliance and common threats to regional peace and stability. They also discussed a number of training and operational issues in Okinawa; the importance of readiness and realistic training; and community relations.

Kono noted his belief that the Alliance is stronger than ever, and stated that our two countries can make the region better together. He reiterated the importance of the U.S. military presence on Okinawa and reaffirmed that the U.S.-Japan Alliance is the cornerstone of peace and security in the region. Kono also commented that he is grateful to the United States for assisting in the development of Japan’s amphibious capability.  

Following the meetings and orientation, U.S. Marine leaders expressed their appreciation for the Minister’s visit, as well as his strong support for the Alliance and the U.S. personnel defending Japan’s security. They also expressed their appreciation for the support and hospitality they enjoy from the people of Okinawa.     




在日米軍司令部と第3海兵遠征軍は本日、第3海兵遠征軍による防衛大臣へのブリーフィングとオリエンテーションを支援致しました。第3海兵遠征軍司令官H. ステーシークラーディ中将は日米が地域で担う戦略的に重要な役割について議論する機会を得たことに感謝致しました。