U.S. Senator Jim Webb to visit Korea, Vietnam, Japan, and Guam Apr 16-29

Washington, DC. Apr 15, 2011. U.S. Senator Jim Webb, chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations East Asian and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee and member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, will visit the Republic of Korea, Vietnam, Japan, and Guam April 16-29. Senator Webb is scheduled to hold meetings with government officials, U.S. diplomats and military commanders, and business leaders.

In Korea, Senator Webb will review the security situation on the Korean peninsula and reaffirm his support for passage of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

In Vietnam, Senator Webb will address water security issues in Southeast Asia and continue advocating a multilateral approach to avert the devastating consequences of proposed mainstream dams along the Mekong River. If completed, these dams could fundamentally change the world’s 12th longest river and place at risk the Mekong Delta, Vietnam’s “rice bowl” and the world’s richest inland fishery.

Senator Webb is returning to Japan for the second time this year after keynoting the New Shimoda Conference in February. On this trip, he is traveling to Tokyo with Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, to reaffirm the critical importance of the U.S.-Japan alliance and express condolences to the Japanese people and government following last month’s earthquake and tsunami.

Senator Webb will also visit Okinawa, Guam and Tinian, as a follow-on to visits he made last year, in order to meet with local officials and American military leaders responsible for the proposed realignment of U.S. military bases in the Pacific region.

Senator Webb has enjoyed a continuous personal involvement in Asian and Pacific affairs that long predates his time in the Senate. In addition to his more recent visits as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he has worked and traveled throughout this vast region for more than four decades-as a Marine Corps officer, a defense planner, a journalist, a novelist, a senior official in the Department of Defense, and as a business consultant.

To read more about Senator Webb’s background in the region, visit:

http://webb.senate.gov/issuesandlegislation/foreignpolicy/East_Asia.cfm

Senator Webb: Construction of Xayaburi Dam in Laos could have “devastating consequences” for Southeast Asia

April 14, 2011. Senator Jim Webb (D-VA), chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs, today issued the following statement regarding proposed construction in Laos of the Xayaburi Dam on the Mekong River, which also flows through China, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam:

“Reports are very troubling that the government of Laos may move forward with the construction of the Xayaburi Dam following next week’s meeting of Mekong River Commission members. This is a dangerously harmful precedent as it relates to the environmental health of Southeast Asia. Numerous scientific studies have concluded that construction of the Xayaburi Dam and other proposed mainstream dams will have devastating environmental, economic, and social consequences for the entire Mekong sub-region.

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