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Cablegate: Country Clearance for Katherine Ward + 5 to Visit

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKO #3351/01 3450647
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 100647Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RULSSEA/COMNAVSEASYSCOM WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9312
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA PRIORITY
RUALSFJ/COMUSJAPAN YOKOTA AB JA PRIORITY
RUAYIAA/COMSUBGRU SEVEN PRIORITY
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI PRIORITY

UNCLAS TOKYO 003351

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OTRA PREL JA
SUBJECT: COUNTRY CLEARANCE FOR KATHERINE WARD + 5 TO VISIT
JAPAN DECEMBER 4-20, 2008

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. PLEASE HANDLE ACCORDINGLY.

1. (U) Embassy grants country clearance for the December
4-20, 2008, visit to Japan of the following DoD
civilian/military personnel.

Jeffrey M. Avery, 14-19 December
Timothy B. Baltz, 7-19 December
Troy Mueller, 15-19 December
Lee A. Nickel, 14-19 December
George G. Vergos, 4-20 December
Katherine E. Ward, 14-19 December

2. (U) Embassy POC for the visit will be Political Officer
John Nylin. He can be reached at:

Office phone: (81-3)3224-5344
Home phone: (81-3)3224-6859
Mobile phone: (81-80)1202-8406
Fax: (81-3)3224-5322
E-mail: NylinJD@state.gov (unclassified)

------------------
Hotel Reservations
------------------

3. (U) Tokyo hotel reservations have been made at the Hotel
Okura for the dates 17 December (check-in) to 19 December
(check-out); address: 2-10-4 Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo
105-8416; Tel: (81-3) 3582-0111; Fax: (81-3) 3582-3707.
Confirmation numbers are as follows:

Jeffrey Avery, No. 649020
Timothy B. Baltz, No. 649025
Troy Mueller, No. 649019
Lee A. Nickel, No. 649021
George G. Vergos, No. 649023
Katherine E. Ward, No. 649022


-------------------------------
Airport to Hotel Transportation
-------------------------------

4. (U) Visitors should take the airport "limousine" bus
directly to the hotel or the Narita Express (NEX) train to
Tokyo Station and then a taxi to the hotel. The limousine
bus counter is located in the Tokyo Narita Airport Arrival
lobby. Look for the orange signs as you walk through the
doors from the customs area to the main lobby. The bus fare
is 3,000 Yen. The NEX train is located in the basement of
the airport terminal. The train fare is 2,900 Yen.
Twenty-four hour currency exchange facilities are available
in the customs area and the arrival lobby of the airport.
Travel time from Tokyo Narita Airport to downtown Tokyo is
90-120 minutes, depending on traffic.

----
Visa
----

5. (U) U.S. citizens entering or transiting Japan on
official business must obtain a diplomatic or official visa
for that purpose. U.S. citizens traveling with a valid U.S.
passport can enter Japan for business or pleasure for up to
90 days without a visa. All foreign nationals entering
Japan, with the exemption of certain categories, are required
to have their fingerprints scanned and a facial photograph
taken at the port of entry. This requirement does not
replace any existing visa or passport requirements. U.S.
travelers on official business must have a diplomatic or
official visa specifying the nature of travel as "AS
DIPLOMAT," "AS OFFICIAL," or "IN TRANSIT" to be exempt from
biometric collection. All other visa holders, including
those with diplomatic and official visas stating "AS
TEMPORARY VISITOR," are subject to this requirement.
Passport type is also irrelevant. In rare instances,
official travelers who bring a Note Verbale specifying they
are entering Japan in an official capacity may be exempted
from the biometric collection requirement, if otherwise
required. SOFA personnel are exempt under SOFA Article 9 (2)
from the new biometrics entry requirements.

----------------------

Embassy Laptop Policy
----------------------

6. (U) The Embassy's electronic device (i.e. laptop,
removable storage, video equipment, test equipment, etc.)
policy states that absolutely no personal, non-government
owned electronic devices may enter the Embassy. Absolutely
no equipment, even government-owned, may be connected to the
Embassy network in any way without prior approval. TDY
employees are reminded that even government-owned equipment
may not enter the Embassy without prior RSO approval.
Absolutely no electronic device, even government-owned, may
enter the CAA unless special pre-approval is given by the
RSO, based on a compelling business need. Please be advised
that if the traveler does not have one of the following
BlackBerry models and a service contract with one of the
telecommunications companies (listing follows), then his/her
BlackBerry will not work in Japan. Japan has the most
advanced cellular industry in the world and BlackBerry
protocols are not as advanced as what are being used in Japan
today. (BlackBerry models: 8707G, H, V or U.S.
Telecommunications Companies with a NTT/DoCoMo roaming
agreement: Sprint/Nextel, ATT/Cingular, and T-Mobile)If you
would like to bring a U.S. government-owned electronic device
into the Embassy, please contact the RSO office (provide
make, model, serial number, and purpose) prior to your visit
for a briefing and approval.

-----------------
Threat Assessment
-----------------

7. (U) U.S. Government facilities worldwide remain at a
heightened state of alert. As the U.S. Government has
reported in public announcements over the last several
months, U.S. citizens and interests abroad may be at
increased risk of terrorist actions from extremist groups,
which may target civilians and include suicide operations.
The Department maintains information about potential threats
to Americans overseas which is available to travelers on the
internet at the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page:
http://www.travel.state.gov. The Embassy takes all threats
seriously. U.S. Embassy Tokyo can be contacted 24 hours a
day at 03-3224-5000 (locally) or 81-3-3224-5000
(internationally).

8. (SBU) The general threat from crime in Tokyo and
throughout Japan is low. Crime is at levels well below the
U.S. national average. Violent crime is rare, but does
exist. The Japanese National Police report continued
problems with pick-pocketing of foreigners in crowded
shopping areas of Tokyo. Although street crime is low,
common sense security measures are advised for all American
citizens traveling in Japan.

9. (U) Also be advised that under no circumstances may
weapons be brought into Japan. Carrying a pocketknife
(including Swiss Army-style knife, craft or hunting knife,
box cutter, etc.) in public is forbidden. Under Japanese
law, carrying any such item in public, with a size exceeding
8 cm in length, 1.5 cm in width or 2 mm in thickness, can
subject the person to arrest or detention.
SCHIEFFER

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