Monday, March 7, 2011

Complexities of US Japan alliance examined

Snow falls on the garden outside the International House of Japan.
To be honest, I slept better than I expected. Sure I woke up at 2 a.m., but I was able to get back to bed after a couple hours and at no point Monday did I feel like an extra for the movie Zombieland.
The surprise developments Monday were twofold: the Japanese foreign minster abruptly resigned and moderate rain turned into a late snow (by Tokyo standards).
Our Japanese hosts apologized for the weather no fewer than three times. The program got meaty quickly today we got a program orientation, talked journalism in Japan with association bigwigs and then got off-the-record briefings from U.S. military officials and embassy officials in Tokyo.  
While I can’t write about the specifics of what I learned, it's fair to say that U.S. efforts to consolidate military bases is a sensitive issue that I’m sure we’ll learn plenty more about when we travel to Okinawa in a matter of days.

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