Perry seeks to defuse rape row
Wednesday 01 November 1995
The US Defense Secretary, William Perry, arrived in Tokyo yesterday hoping to defuse the diplomatic crisis sparked by the alleged rape of a schoolgirl by US servicemen on the island of Okinawa.
In meetings with his opposite number, Seishiro Eto, and the Japanese Foreign Minister, Yohei Kono, Mr Perry will address the problem of how to reassert the importance of the US-Japan Security Treaty, while quelling anger over the rape and over the massive US military presence on the small southern island.
"The key message is that the US-Japan Security relationship is an absolute key to security and stability in Asia and that nobody benefits more than Japan," Mr Perry told reporters on his plane. "While we are deeply sorry for the suffering of the schoolgirl and her family, we cannot let this poison our entire relationship."
Even his own officials agreed that this is an ambitious goal for a two- day trip and that the issue may not be resolved before President Bill Clinton's summit with the Japanese Prime Minister, Tomiichi Murayama, in three weeks.
Protests against the rape have spread throughout Japan, with demands for a reduction of the US presence on Okinawa, where 29,000 troops and three-quarters of US bases in Japan are concentrated. Mr Perry said last week that while the bases on Okinawa may be "consolidated", troop levels would remain the same. Yesterday, he moved closer to the Japanese government's line, saying units might be moved to different parts of the country.
For Tokyo that presents another question: if not Okinawa, where? US officials cite the cost of relocating bases, which would be borne by Japan, as an obstacle. Another is that if the Americans are unpopular on Okinawa, they would be even less welcome elsewhere.
- 1 Hair loss explained: How and why men go bald
- 2 Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe the Stark may have a twin sister
- 3 Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
- 4 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
- 5 Russia 'accidentally reveals' number of its soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine
Most expensive city to live in for expatriates: Luanda, Angola takes number one spot with Hong Kong and Zurich in top three
If Surrey were Syria: Social experiment shows what it's like to live under siege
Video of Irish 'professional boxer' fighting Istanbul neighbourhood goes viral in Turkey
Irish tourist filmed fighting with shopkeepers in Turkey says they 'messed with the wrong man'
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal get peerages
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive + incentives + uncapped comms: SThree:...
£34000 - £36000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Analytics & Reporting Tea...
£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a world leader ...
£13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...