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Security levels were increased Thursday at all bases in Japan and Okinawa, according to U.S. Forces Japan officials.

USFJ officials declined to comment on why the increase was made to Force Protection Condition Bravo, the third highest of five levels.

USFJ spokeswoman Col. Anne Morris said divulging why force-protection conditions change could provide useful information to anyone planning to do harm to a base.

“As with any concern, people should use their chain of command (to get information),” she said in an e-mail response to Stars and Stripes.

“This form of communication is usually the most effective in addressing concerns whether related to FPC on changes or the range of issues our military and civilian members face.”

The security increase came as Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe left for Washington, D.C., for his first visit as premier with President Bush.

Though relations between the two nations continue to be strong, Abe’s two-day visit is not expected to be without controversy as U.S. lawmakers consider a nonbinding resolution urging Japan to apologize formally for forcing thousands of women into military brothels during World War II.

According to Department of Defense directives, threat level Bravo allows commanders to increase unannounced security spot checks at access control points at U.S. installations and facilities, and reduce the number of access points for personnel and vehicles, among other actions.


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