- The Washington Times - Monday, September 17, 2001

Farewell canceled
Japanese Ambassador Shunji Yanai had wanted to say goodbye to his friends in a diplomatic reception and maybe explain the scandal that led to his dismissal.
Instead, because of last week's terrorist attacks, he is bidding farewell in a letter.
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi fired Mr. Yanai on Aug. 2, blaming him for embezzlement scandals when he was a vice foreign minister. Although he was not personally implicated in the affair, Mr. Yanai was dismissed along with three other officials.
Mr. Yanai had hoped to depart after a reception this Thursday but dropped those plans after terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center and attacked the Pentagon. He is due to leave early next month.
"The tragedy that befell the United States shocked everyone into the depths of sorrowful disbelief," he wrote in his letter on Wednesday.
"I know that my countrymen would wish me to convey their heartfelt sympathy and prayers for the families of the victims and the people and government of the United States of America.
"On the eve of my departure from Washington, I have decided it would not be thoughtful of me to hold my personal, farewell reception in the midst of so much mourning."
He said he and his wife, Toshiko, "will regret very much the missed occasion to say goodbye in person."
"We leave with the earnest desire to continue our efforts toward strengthening the bond between our two countries," he said.
Mr. Yanai will be replaced by Ryozo Kato, a deputy minister of foreign affairs. Mr. Kato earlier served in Washington as a political minister and in San Francisco as consul-general.

In other news
British Ambassador Sir Christopher Meyer has learned his tour of duty will be extended until February 2003.
When he finishes, Mr. Meyer will have been here five years, making him the longest-serving British ambassador since 1939.
The news about Mr. Meyer was overshadowed by the diplomatic coverage of the terrorist attacks.
In other developments that went unreported last week: Thomas Hubbard arrived in Seoul to take up his new position as U.S. ambassador to South Korea; and William Gnehm, the new U.S. ambassador to Jordan, presented his diplomatic credentials to Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdel Ilah Khatib.
Mr. Hubbard pledged U.S. support for talks between North and South Korea.
"The United States strongly supports the dialogue … and will continue to closely coordinate our own policy with South Korea and Japan," he told reporters upon his arrival.
"The United States of course remains ready to meet North Korea without preconditions at any time and any place."
Mr. Hubbard is a former deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific affairs.
Mr. Gnehm is the former ambassador to Australia. He was Washington's ambassador to Kuwait from 1990 to 1994. Mr. Gnehm also had previous experience in Jordan, where he served as deputy chief of mission from 1984 to 1987.
The news on both ambassadors was reported by wire services on Wednesday, the day after the terrorist attacks.

Diplomatic traffic
Foreign visitors expected in Washington this week include:
William Lee, Taiwan's counsel for mainland Chinese affairs.
French President Jacques Chirac meets President Bush.
President Megawati Sukarnoputri of Indonesia meets President Bush, Vice President Richard B. Cheney and Robert B. Zoellick, the U.S. trade representative. Her delegation will include Foreign Minister Hasan Wirayuda.
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov is scheduled to meet President Bush. He also will hold talks with Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott.
Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel attends a U.S.-European Union ministerial meeting on EU enlargement.
Chris Patten, foreign affairs commissioner of the European Union, addresses the American Enterprise Institute.

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