First Meeting of the Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Accident Site Cooperation

September 17, 2004

On September 17, 2004, the first meeting of the Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Accident Site Cooperation, established under the Joint Committee on September 14, 2004, was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Deputy Director General Umemoto of the North American Bureau of MOFA, served as representative on the Japanese side, with participation from MOFA, NPA, FDMA, MOJ, and DFAA. Brigadier General Baker, Vice Commander of USAFJ, served as the representative on the US side, with participation from the US Embassy and USFJ.

At this meeting, the two sides exchanged views on how to proceed with the operation of the Ad Hoc Subcommittee. In addition, they reviewed current United States' safety investigation procedures and examined the action taken by the two sides in response to the US CH-53D helicopter accident. The two sides agreed to continue to establish a common understanding with regard to the actions taken by the US and Japanese authorities in response to the accident. Furthermore, it was agreed that issues such as (1) communication and notification system, (2) cooperation in firefighting and rescue operations, (3) coordination between the US Forces and the police and fire department with regard to accident site activities, would be examined and discussions begun in these areas.

The two sides shared the view that both sides would aim to produce a recommendation for the Joint Committee regarding ways to improve cooperation by the Japanese and US authorities at an accident site as soon as possible.

Dates for the next meeting will be coordinated through diplomatic channels.

(END)


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