- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 13, 2011

EMERGENCY

The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo is searching for Americans in Japan and dispatching relief teams with military precision as U.S. diplomats respond to the devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster that crippled America’s closest Asian ally.

“We have and continue to mobilize all appropriate resources,” Ambassador John Roos said Sunday in a message to American citizens.

He warned them to beware of “misinformation” and urged them to follow the instructions of Japanese civil defense authorities.

The ambassador said he has received no report of any American injured or killed in the earthquake that struck Japan on Friday. Of 160,000 Americans in Japan, about 1,300 are in areas most affected by the disaster, Mr. Roos said. He dispatched consular officers to those areas to find and help them.

Disaster teams from the U.S. Agency for International Development and experts from the Energy Department, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Health and Human Services also have arrived in Japan, the ambassador said.

Rescue teams from Fairfax County, Va., and Los Angeles, along with dogs trained to find victims buried in the rubble of collapsed buildings, are on the ground, Mr. Roos said.

“It goes without saying that we feel great sorrow, and our hearts go out to the people of Japan and to all of those who have been affected by the events of the last few days. Japan is our close ally and partner,” Mr. Roos told reporters at an embassy news conference Saturday.

He was flanked by Air Force Lt. Gen. Burt Field, commander of U.S. forces in Japan; Navy Capt. Justin Cooper, the embassy’s defense attache; John Breed, the USAID counselor, and Consul General Paul Fitzgerald.

Mr. Roos urged U.S. citizens trying to find information on friends or relatives in Japan to send an e-mail to the State Department at JapanEmergencyUSC@state.gov and include the full name, date of birth and place of birth of the people they are seeking.

DIPLOMATIC TRAFFIC

Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:

Tuesday

• A delegation from Kazakhstan: Marat Beketayev, executive secretary at the Ministry of Justice; Kuandyk Bishimbayev, vice minister for Economic Development and Trade; and Nurlan Yermekbayev, a top adviser to President Nursultan Nazarbayev. They will meet with administration officials.

Wednesday

John Finucane, son of Patrick Finucane, a human rights lawyer murdered by loyalist paramilitaries in Northern Ireland in 1989; Raymond McCord, father of Raymond McCord Jr., also murdered in Belfast by loyalist paramilitaries in 1997; John Teggart, son of Daniel Teggart, victim of the 1971 Ballymurphy massacre by British soldiers; Ciaran McAirt, grandson of Kitty Irvine, a victim of the 1971 McGurks Bar bombing by a loyalist paramilitaries; and Jane Winter, director of British Irish Rights Watch. They testify before the congressional Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe at 2 p.m. in Room 210 of the Cannon House Office Building.

Thursday

Prime Minister Enda Kenny of Ireland, who meets President Obama.

Friday

Jahangir Hajiyev, chairman of the International Bank of Azerbaijan, and Nazim Muzaffarli, a former member of the Azerbaijan parliament. They address the School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or e-mail jmorrison@washingtontimes.com.