OSAKA — A reduction in personnel in Japan would leave the U.S. Navy unable to maintain its necessary level of readiness, Rear Adm. Michael Haskins, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Japan, said April 18.

Speaking at a meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, Haskins touched on the U.S. Navy’s importance to the security of Japan and the region. “In one sense, it was more quiet during the Cold War, because the boundaries were clearly defined. But Japan is now living in a ‘tough neighborhood,'” he said. “During last year’s crisis in the Taiwan Strait, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange plummeted every time the Chinese test-fired their missiles,” Haskins said. “When the (aircraft carrier) USS Independence, based in Yokosuka, arrived, the stock market recovered.”

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