Thursday, March 28, 2013

Japan: Curfew shows what base relocation could mean to Okinawa | Alaska Dispatch

On March 22, Japan's Defense Ministry submitted a plan to the Okinawan prefectural authorities to build a new facility on the northeast coast of the island, to replace the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma base that sits in the middle of Ginowan City.

The latest proposal follows years of often-strained back-and-forth between Tokyo and Washington over the Futenma base, and is blamed for costing former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama his job. In 2010, he resigned after eight months in office after failing to deliver on an election pledge to relocate the controversial facility.

“My basic policy is that we should not leave the Futenma base as it is for a long time,” Prime Minister Abe told reporters in Tokyo last week after submitting the relocation proposal. “I want to do my best to reduce Okinawan people’s burden.”

Although some locals vehemently oppose the presence of the US military on the island at all, others are conflicted. It has brought undeniable economic benefits to Japan's poorest prefecture, where the average income is less than half of that in Tokyo.

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Comment: The Futenma base was not the reason former Prime Minister Hatoyama lost his job, incompetence was the reason he lost his job. Here I give the Japanese credit, whenever they make a mistake and put a nincompoop in charge, they fire the dickhead PDQ! On another matter, there's nothing wrong with having an average annual income that is half of what Tokyo's is! Especially when you're in a place like Okinawa where the weather is warm, the beer is cold, the women are beautiful the beaches are here and the cost of living is at least 10 or more times "less" than Tokyo!

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