U.S. Welcomes Statement by Yokosuka Mayor Kabaya on Kitty Hawk Replacement

June 14, 2006

Statement by Ambassador J. Thomas Schieffer

The United States government welcomes today's announcement by Yokosuka Mayor Kabaya regarding the replacement of the USS Kitty Hawk with a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. We take our commitment to defend Japan and maintain peace and security in the region very seriously. Ensuring that our most capable Naval forces are forward-deployed is part of that commitment. We will continue to work closely with the government of Japan to assure that the best deterrence possible is provided to the people of Japan.

We are committed to maintaining the impeccable safety record of America's nuclear-powered carriers. The U.S. government will continue to listen and seriously consider the views of local residents and political leaders regarding this deployment. We greatly value the friendship and hospitality of Yokosuka City and the other communities that host our forces.