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    Okinawans to be surveyed about US military presence

    The US government plans to survey Okinawans about how they view US bases:

    The committee is attempting to determine which bases on U.S. soil should be closed to improve the efficiency of defense operations under an inquiry ordered by U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

    It plans to complete a draft proposal in May and seek approval from Congress in autumn.

    The plan is expected to meet with strong opposition since many regional economies in the United States depend on military bases.

    Okinawa’s relationship with the US military is more complicated. It’s Japan’s least wealthy prefecture, and our bases add to the economy. At the same time, crime and high-handedness have accompanied our presence there, and Okinawans are more outspoken than your average Japanese; the survey report should be an interesting read, whatever effect it does or does not ultimately have on troop realignments.

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