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FM Kono says working-level talks on review of SOFA guidelines underway

  • February 8, 2019
  • , TBS digital
  • JMH Summary

TBS reported online this morning that Foreign Minister Kono revealed at the Upper House Budget Committee yesterday that Japan has begun talks with the U.S. government on reviewing the guidelines under the Status of Forces Agreement to allow Japanese police, firefighters, and other officials access to sites of accidents involving U.S. Forces. Currently, this requires the U.S. side’s consent. Kono was quoted as saying: “Working-level officials are discussing with the U.S. side such issues as establishing the right to access accident sites that have been cordoned off and restricted.” TBS reported that in response to its inquiry, the Foreign Ministry said: “We are engaged in various discussions on the SOFA with the U.S. side, but we are unable to answer questions on the details of the discussions.”

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