"Hi. Look I am sorry I didn't get back to you about your email. Kind of got caught up planning for the in-house basketball league game last night."
"How did you do?"
"We kicked Near Eastern's ass. Like last year."
"Thanks. Anyway, I have had a chance to brief the DAS on the speech. His response was negative."
"He doesn't think it would be a good idea for the Ambassador to imply that not passing the refueling legislation would be akin to giving 'aid and comfort' to terrorists. He also thinks that calling the bilateral into question is way out of line."
"I really sort of wish you had gotten back to me on this yesterday..."
US asks Japan to keep Indian Ocean mission
Agence France Presse
TOKYO - The US ambassador here called on Japan Wednesday to maintain support for forces in Afghanistan, saying that ending the mission would hurt its alliance with Washington and send a bad message to the world.
"If the mission stops, the impact on our bilateral relationship would be regrettable. It will be hard to make an argument that it's strengthened," US Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer told reporters.
"If Japan stopped doing this on a permanent basis, it would be sending a very bad message to the rest of the international community and to terrorists, because I think that it would be saying that Japan is opting out of the war on terror."
Quote broadcast in its glorious entirety on last night's 9 p.m. NHK news.