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    Japan and US disagree over relocation of USMC base

    The Nikkei reports:

    The exchange of opinions between the Japanese and US governments revolving around where to relocate the facilities at the Futenma [USMC] Base in Okinawa, a focal point of the restructuring of US military presence in Japan, is heating up. Negotiations that were initially quiet on the surface have developed into a state in which each side responds with a ringing declaration of its own position. The Japanese government sent Japan Defense Agency [policy] head Kazuo Ofuru to the US on 4 October and is looking for an opening by which to work its way out of the current deadlock, but there is a deep divide between the Japan-side proposal to move operations to the Camp Schwab exercise grounds (the on-land proposal) and the US-side proposal to reclaim shallows for the purpose (the off-shore proposal).

    “The US is pushing its off-shore proposal, but we’ve said, ‘It will be very difficult to build [the base] on sea; let’s go with a land base.’ A plan for the same sort of base has also been rejected by voters in Nago [City].”

    Takemasa Moriya, Deputy Minister of Defense, revealed to a 3 October press conference that he was very dissatisfied with the US response.

    The Futenma facilities in question house helicopter operations, which are a touchy subject on both sides these past few years.

    Moriya, BTW, is an interesting character. He’s the highest-level pure bureaucrat at the Japan Defense Agency. (The cabinet ministers themselves, of course, are selected by the Prime Minister and approved by the ruling party, so they tend to come from outside.) He’s very powerful, and he doesn’t mince words–you learn to stop and pay attention when one of his soundbites comes on NHK, because what he says is usually as reliable an indicator as you get of what Japan’s military strategists are thinking. Or at least what they want the Japanese public and the rest of the world to think they’re thinking.

    2 Responses to “Japan and US disagree over relocation of USMC base”

    1. Zak says:

      The Okinawans are just screwed, and will continue getting screwed. They can be viewed as a separate country that then lost to the larger and more powerful country of Japan. The Japanese then lost to the US. So, the Okinawans lost to the loser, which means they get shafted.

    2. Sean Kinsell says:

      It’s like the “colonized by wankers” line in Trainspotting, yeah. Okinawa gets the country-cousin treatment all the time, and it’s not suprising it resents it.

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