The Japanese government has expressed concern over the proposed withdrawal of 33,000 US ground troops from South Korea over the next four to five years.
The Japanese government has expressed concern over the proposed withdrawal of 33,000 US ground troops from South Korea over the next four to five years. The fears come after a top US general serving in South Korea, recalled to Washington for publicly criticising the withdrawal, said the pull-out of US forces would end in disaster.
Major-General John Singlaub, the US Army's Chief of Staff in South Korea, was recalled to Washington to give a personal explanation of his remarks, after he was reported in the Washington Post as criticising President Carter's plan to withdraw US ground troops from South Korea.
SYNOPSIS: At the Japanese Foreign Ministry in Tokyo, two presidential envoys, General George Brown, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Philip Habib, under Secretary of State, met Japanese Foreign Minister Iichiro Hatoyama for briefings on the proposed withdrawal. The visit by the Americans caused much interest in the Japanese capital.
General Brown and Mr Habib had just arrived from Seoul where they had just two days of talks with South Korean President Park Chung-Hee, who reluctantly has accepted the controversial decision. The American envoys described their discussions in Seoul as "very constructive and useful". President Park stressed to General Brown and Mr Habib, however, that South Korea would have to be compensated for the loss of the troops.
Many Koreans feels the withdrawal would increase the chances of a new war. Japan, although gravely concerned,, considers the matter a bilateral one that has to be settled between South Korea and the United States.