Caroline Kennedy Leading Candidate for Ambassador to Japan

Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, is a leading candidate to become President Barack Obama’s nominee as U.S. ambassador to Japan, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Kennedy, 55, would replace Ambassador John Roos, a former technology lawyer and Obama campaign donor, as the U.S. envoy in Tokyo, according to the people, who asked for anonymity because the decision hasn’t been made official. While the president has signed off on Kennedy’s nomination, her vetting for the post hasn’t been completed, said one of the people.

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Two U.S. servicemen arrested in Okinawa for alleged rape

Two U.S. servicemen were arrested in Japan’s southern island of Okinawa on suspicion of raping a Japanese woman, police said on Wednesday, in an incident that could strain Tokyo’s ties with its closest ally Washington.

The case comes at a time when public opinion in Okinawa is at odds with Tokyo for allowing the U.S. deployment of Osprey hybrid aircraft on the island despite lingering concerns about their safety.

The arrests also coincide with a sharp deterioration in Japan’s relations with China over a disputed East China Sea island chain that makes it strategically important for Tokyo to reaffirm its alliance with the United States.

U.S. ambassador to Japan John Roos said in a statement that his government was extremely concerned by the incident and was committed to cooperating fully with the Japanese authorities in their investigation.

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Okinawa to Guam? Possibly…

The United States reiterated its demand Tuesday that Japan implement a 2006 bilateral pact on the transfer of a U.S. military airfield in Okinawa during the first meeting of a working group on the thorny issue.

While the participants agreed on the need to ‘‘expeditiously’’ seek a resolution of the issue involving the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station, a senior U.S. defense official warned a delay in finding a solution may change the stance of the U.S. Congress which supports the transfer of thousands of Marines from Okinawa to Guam—a plan also included in the accord on the U.S. forces realignment.

Source: Japan TImes