Ambassador Roos Statement to Reporters at the Foreign Ministry
October 17, 2012
AMBASSADOR ROOS: Thank you all for being here. I just had a meeting with Minister Kira, and we discussed the reports of alleged serious misconduct on the part of two U.S. servicemen. And I completely and emphatically told the Minister that the United States government, including our military, would cooperate in any way possible and in any way asked of us, in order to get to the bottom of this matter in the coming days and months.
As I said, this is a very serious matter, and it is the full intent of the United States government to provide full and complete and unequivocal cooperation to the Japanese authorities in their investigation of this matter.
If I could just, for a moment, take a step back on a personal level and say something to the Okinawan people and to the people of Japan as a whole: I understand - I do understand the anger that many people feel with respect to this reported incident. I wouldn’t be honest with you if I didn’t tell you that I didn’t share some of that anger. And I know that we in the United States - without prejudging this current situation - it is very important that we, as we have always done in the past, work our hearts out to earn the trust of the Okinawan people and the people of Japan as a whole. And my commitment as the U.S. Ambassador to Japan is that we will continue - not only me, as the United States Ambassador, but the entire United States government, including our military - will continue to work our hearts out to earn the trust of the Okinawan people and the people of Japan.
Since the event occurred yesterday, I have been in communications with the highest levels of our government in Washington as well as the senior levels of our military here in Japan, and I can assure you - and I can assure the Japanese people - that all of our leaders share my feelings. And they share my commitment to the Okinawan people and the Japanese people as a whole.
In a little bit, I will be meeting with Governor Nakaima in my office here in Tokyo, and I will express to him the same sentiment. So thank you.