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'2-plus-2' meeting might be postponed: ambassador.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 Kyodo

Top-level security talks between Japan and the United States set for January in Washington might be postponed due to the tight schedule of the U.S. defense chief, Japan's ambassador to the U.S. Shunji Yanai said Wednesday.

The so-called "two-plus-two" security meeting involving Japanese Defense Agency head Tsutomu Kawara, Foreign Minister Yohei Kono, U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was tentatively scheduled for around Jan. 10. Yanai said the meeting will likely be put off as Cohen is slated to make a trip around that time.

If the gathering fails to materialize, Kono and Albright will hold talks in Washington in January and the meeting of the four will take place in March at the earliest, Yanai said.

The security discussions are expected to focus on relocation of the heliport functions of the U.S. Marine Corps Futemma Air Station in Okinawa.

The Japan-U.S. ministerial security talks last took place in New York in September last year.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Date:Dec 6, 1999
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