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Japanese PM’s Reversal On US Base May Have Political Cost

May 7, 2010

https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/images/futenma-mcas1.jpg

Political analysts in Japan say Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s reversal on a key campaign pledge is likely to cost him in coming elections.

Mr. Hatoyama told residents of Okinawa this week it will probably be impossible to completely move a U.S. marine base off the island.

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama went to Okinawa this week to deliver a message that left many islanders disappointed.

He says given the current U.S.-Japan relationship and from the perspective that they need to keep deterrence power, it has become difficult to move all the functions of Futenma air station.

He says he brings his “deepest apologies.”

The U.S. Marine Corps Futenma air station on Okinawa has long been a target of protesters.

A large city has grown around it

[ see photo above ]

over the past 50 years, and residents complain the base’s aircraft are noisy and dangerous.

Okinawa hosts about half of the 49,000 U.S. troops in Japan, on several bases, as part of an alliance forged after World War II.

[ … or an occupation forged after World War II – when one side nuked the other when it just didn’t really need to … ]

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