Carter Calls Japanese Counterpart

Defense Secretary Ash Carter spoke by phone this morning with his Japanese counterpart, Defense Minister Gen Nakatani, according to a statement by Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook.

Carter conveyed his sadness and his regret over the murder of a young woman in Okinawa, Cook said, and extended his sincere apologies to the victim's family and friends. He also expressed his sympathies to the people of Japan.

The press secretary said Carter told Nakatani that the United States hopes the perpetrator of this crime will be held accountable under the Japanese legal system. The defense secretary further pledged that the Defense Department is determined to cooperate fully with Japan’s government and local authorities regarding the investigation so that justice can be carried out. Carter added that the department will do all it can to prevent incidents like this in the future, Cook said.

“Despite this shocking and tragic incident,” Cook said, the two defense leaders “reaffirmed that the U.S.-Japan alliance remains steadfast and continues to serve as the cornerstone of peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region.” The press secretary added that Carter and Nakatani look forward to discussing the security relationship when they meet next month during the upcoming Shangri-La Dialogue.