Regarding the Feb. 12 article “U.S. nixes talks with Cheney, Kyuma“: If U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney doesn’t want to meet with Japanese Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma because of Kyuma’s open criticism of the March 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, why let Cheney meet with the officers under Kyuma’s command when Cheney visits Japan this week?

Every reasonable person agrees that Kyuma hit the nail on the head. So if Cheney doesn’t want to meet with Kyuma because of this, why does it matter? The disgraced Kyuma has authority over the men in uniform whom Cheney wants to meet. What if Kyuma were to order that they not meet with the visitor? Or does Cheney think that since these officers are embedded with U.S. units in the U.S. Pacific Command, he can freely meet with them in outright disregard of their legitimate superior?

The relocation of Futenma U.S. Marine base on Okinawa is another moot point yet to be solved between Japan and the United States. Washington wants Tokyo to expedite the Oct. 25, 2005, agreement by all means, even if it diametrically conflicts with Japan’s legal processes and strong local opposition.

yoshio shimoji

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