December 29, 2009

COME HOME AND LET THEM DIE OFF IN PEACE:

Standoff over US base closure sours US-Japan ties (ERIC TALMADGE, 12/29/09, Associated Press)

[T]he decision to replace the Futenma base with another on the outskirts of Nago, another Okinawan city, sparked intense protests.

The new base would likely require bulldozing beaches near an existing Marine facility, Camp Schwab.

"We are not going to let them destroy our ocean to build another military base," said Hiroshi Aratomi, the co-leader of a group that has held a daily sit-in for the past five years. "We will be glad to see Futenma go, but not at the price of simply substituting it with another base in our backyard."

The protests by Nago residents have effectively thwarted efforts to finally settle on a site and have the sympathy of Okinawans in general, who would prefer that no replacement facility be built on their island at all.

The United States insists the base must stay somewhere on Okinawa so that the Marine units remain cohesive.

Japan's new government is listening to the protesters, at least for the moment .

In large part, that reflects domestic politics. Mizuho Fukushima, head of the Social Democratic Party, has threatened to pull her party out of the ruling coalition if the base remains on Okinawa.

Her threat is seen as a major factor behind Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's reluctance to make a decision on the issue.


There's a lot of that going around....

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 29, 2009 7:38 AM
blog comments powered by Disqus
« FIGHTING FORM: | Main | NOT THAT THEY'RE EXACTLY UNFUDDLED TO BEGIN WITH: »