Japan welcomes appointment of new US ambassador

TOKYO, Aug 8, 2009 (AFP) - The Japanese government on Saturday welcomed the appointment of corporate attorney John Roos as the US ambassador to Tokyo, citing his close ties with President Barack Obama.

"We hear that he (Roos) keeps in touch with President Obama through heart-to-heart communication," Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura told reporters.

"We have expectations of Mr. Roos in moving Japan-US relations forward. We are looking forward to his arrival in Japan," the top government spokesman added.

The US Senate on Friday unanimously approved Obama's nominations of Utah Governor Jon Huntsman and Roos as his respective ambassadors to China and Japan.

Roos, 54, is a California-based lawyer and was one of Obama's major fundraisers during the US presidential campaign.

As he has had no diplomatic or security experience, some people have doubted his qualifications at a time when North Korea's nuclear and missile threats are major sources of concern, Kyodo News said.

Roos replaces Thomas Schieffer, who was appointed by former US president George W. Bush.

Source: AFP

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