After the demise of Yukio Okamoto, the analyst, security expert and former diplomat of Japan, residents of the country have been ‘sobbing’ as they remember him as the person who was profoundly engaged with the great connection between Japan and the U.S.
Yukio Okamoto passed on at age 74 of pneumonia in April 2020, because of the novel coronavirus.
Okamoto, was a politico-military official at the Japanese Embassy in Washington (1983-1985) and afterward as executive of the Japan-U.S. security affairs desk and the Japan-U.S. political issues work area in the North American Bureau of the remote service (1988-1991).
He proceeded with his withstanding duty to the Japan-U.S. union for quite a long time after he built up his own consultancy, acquiring the epithet “Mr. Nichibei Kankei” (Mr. Japan-U.S. Relations).
During his service to Japan, he favored getting down to serious business than to being desk-bound. While he was heading the Japan-U.S. political desk at the foreign ministry, the main indication of his quality was supposed to be his suit coat hung over the rear of his seat.
Okamoto, who was knowledgeable in security matters was reliably a backer of a proactive Japanese job under the Japan-U.S. union and with regards to global harmony and security.
In February 1986, there was a test of how Japan might inject itself into the early phase of the negotiations on the reduction of intermediate-range nuclear forces between the United States and the Soviet Union.
Edward Rowny, U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s exceptional agent to the arms talks, came to Tokyo to propose to the Japanese chiefs the U.S. proposition, in light of Soviet pioneer Mikhail Gorbachev’s January 15 demilitarization proposition, to expel all Soviet SS-20 rockets from Europe (west of the Ural Mountains) and decrease the SS-20s in Asia significantly.
This would make new and hard-to-crack conditions for Japan, in light of the fact that the SS-20s staying in Asia would represent a genuine danger to the country, influencing the validity of the U.S. atomic hindrance.
Okamoto and three other associates in the remote service, in this way named the “Gang of Four” by their American partners, created in a surge the Japanese counterproposal, which was to think all the SS-20s in the focal Soviet Union (Barnaul, southwest Siberia) so Japan and Western Europe would share the hazard similarly as in, the two of them would be inside the striking scope of the rocket.
Okamoto quickly traveled to Washington to brief Bob Linhard, the aide to the president on arms control, on the Japanese counterproposal contained in Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone’s letter to Reagan.
A few years after the fact, Okamoto said that his American partner found the strongly engaged particularity, rather than a simple “Nope,” of the Japanese counterproposal Influenced by the Japanese thought.
Okamoto indeed spearheaded such a significant number of security matters including the efforts among working-level authorities to flexibly but much materiel as could reasonably be expected to help the U.S. military by implication.
He hurried into the Japan Seamen’s Union office and effectively convinced them to dispatch boats to gracefully four-wheel-drive vehicles to the U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf territory.
In 1991, Okamoto quit his foreign ministry job to begin his own political and financial consultancy. And even in the private division, Okamoto’s work was devoted to Japan’s positive role in the world.
In 2003 and 2004, as Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s special advisor, Okamoto assumed a key role in directing operations for Japan’s help to Iraq’s remaking efforts following the U.S. attack.
Okamoto was named by Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto as special assistant on issues identified with the island from 1996 to 1998. He felt profound sympathy for the weight borne by the people of Okinawa.
He dove himself into this sensitive tripartite relationship among the U.S. government, the Japanese government, and Okinawa. He paid various visits to Okinawa to set up affinity with the local people, including episodes of drinking awamori, the local blend.
Furthermore, he was the most steady and confided in channel between the Okinawan capital of Naha, Tokyo, and Washington, encouraging the two governments to realign and decrease the U.S. military nearness on the island, including the migration of the Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.
One thing that made him ‘unique’ other than his achievements was, how he had the option to introduce his sharp perspectives in fluent English to crowds in the United States and elsewhere in the world.