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Maj. Gen. James C. Boozer, Sr., left, takes command of U.S. Army Japan during a ceremony at Camp Zama Aug. 6, 2013.

Maj. Gen. James C. Boozer, Sr., left, takes command of U.S. Army Japan during a ceremony at Camp Zama Aug. 6, 2013. (Seth Robson/Stars and Stripes)

CAMP ZAMA, Japan — On his first official day on the job, the new commander of U.S. Army Japan spoke of growing military ties between the U.S., Japan and Australia.

Maj. Gen. James C. Boozer, Sr., who took command during a ceremony Tuesday at Camp Zama, told Japanese reporters that senior military officers from the three nations — including U.S. Army and Marine Corps representatives — recently completed talks aimed at strengthening the trilateral relationship.

Last year, U.S. Army Pacific named Australian Maj. Gen. Richard “Rick” Maxwell Burr as its deputy commander. The Marine Corps has a steadily growing presence in Australia’s Northern Territory.

“The dialogue and discussion (at the recent staff talks) was all about what can we do together that is mutually beneficial to all these three armies and the Marines,” Boozer said.

U.S. Army Pacific commander Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, who handed over the USARJ colors, praised Boozer’s processor, Maj. Gen. Harrison, including him among the “superb” former Army commanders in Japan.

Harrison was not on hand to pass the colors. He was suspended in June for allegedly failing to report or properly investigate a sexual assault allegation. Later that month, U.S. Army Garrison Japan commander Col. Eric D. Tilley was also suspended pending the outcome of an investigation into alleged misconduct.

Boozer said Harrison is in Washington, D.C. and that officials are still looking into the alleged misconduct.

“There will be thorough investigations,” he said. “That is why it has taken some time to get through this.”

The Army will share the results of the investigations when they are complete, he said.

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Seth Robson is a Tokyo-based reporter who has been with Stars and Stripes since 2003. He has been stationed in Japan, South Korea and Germany, with frequent assignments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Australia and the Philippines.
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