Bilateral Talks focus on Replacement Carrier at Yokosuka
Record of Discussions between the U.S. Government and the Government of Japan
Regarding the Replacement of USS Kitty Hawk by USS George Washington
June 9, 2006
On June 9, 2006, Director-General Chikao Kawai of the North American Affairs Bureau of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Chief of Mission Joseph R. Donovan Jr. of U.S. Embassy Tokyo held discussions concerning the replacement of USS Kitty Hawk by USS George Washington, one of the U.S. Navy's nine Nimitz-Class aircraft carriers, scheduled for 2008. In this connection, both sides wish to record the following:
1. Deputy Chief of Mission Donovan stated as follows:
The U.S. Government has considered very seriously the requests of Yokosuka Mayor Kabaya regarding drill scenarios and a disaster-response mutual aid agreement between the City and the U.S. Navy.
U.S. Navy nuclear-powered warships have an outstanding record of over 134 million miles safely steamed on nuclear power, and over 5,700 reactor-years of safe operation. Nevertheless, the U.S. Government is willing to work with the Government of Japan to develop credible drill scenarios that test the appropriate level of emergency preparedness. It is understood that the GOJ may include other authorities in these discussions, most notably those of Yokosuka City.
The U.S. Government also proposes to enhance existing processes of informal consultation between CNFJ (Commander, Naval Forces, Japan), CFAY (Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka) and relevant parties of Yokosuka City in order to strengthen and deepen several aspects of the friendly relations they have enjoyed during the past decades. Such a framework could also allow for negotiation on a possible agreement between the City and CNFJ/CFAY on mutual aid in the case of disasters.
2. Director-General Kawai replied as follows:
The Government of Japan appreciates the U.S. Government's efforts to address the concerns of the Japanese people, especially in the host local community, and welcomes the U.S. Government's proposals.
The Government of Japan will immediately consult with relevant parties of Yokosuka City, with a view to starting discussions regarding appropriate drill scenarios, and enhancing existing processes of informal consultation between the City and CNFJ/CFAY.