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Pentagon: Okinawa Base Issue Deadline Asap

Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:07 pm

The Obama administration is sick and tired of Tokyo's continued languishing over the issue of relocating Futenma MCAS, and now Pentagon minions have apparently been given the green light to lambast the Hatoyama government at will. This comes as SOS Clinton and her Japanese counterpart Okada will meet this week in Hawaii.

Not hard to see why the Okinawans living in the area won't give up the issue:

The U.S. does not accept the May deadline Japan has set for deciding on the relocation of a U.S. military base in Okinawa and called on Tokyo to promptly resolve the issue, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said Wednesday...

Morrell urged Japan to reach a "positive conclusion" on the issue "as soon as possible."

Hardly - the DPJ opposition seems to be becoming more entrenched on the issue.

Wallace Gregson, assistant U.S. secretary of defense for Asia and the Pacific, also told visiting lawmaker Shigeru Ishiba of the Liberal Democratic Party that Washington hoped to settle the issue in 2009 and that a longer wait will only make it harder to resolve.

Ishiba, a former defense minister, met with Kurt Campbell, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, who told him there will be no progress unless the Japanese public understands the need to keep U.S. forces in Okinawa.

This is the key point - but I doubt that many people will adopt this view as the news media has been harping this topic daily and is engendering a lot of support for sympathies regarding the locals involved in the relocation issue.

Some DPJ politicians have even suggested moving the base to other outlying islands, notably Shimoji, which has been used as an active training center for both JAL and ANA since the late '70s.

But even that may not come to pass on the sparsely populated island, as local groups have already formally registered their opposition.

"When Shimoji airport was established, the Okinawa government and the central government exchanged a memorandum that it would not be used other than for commercial purposes. We definitely cannot tolerate military use," said Akira Shimoji, speaker of the assembly.

The Pentagon is right about one thing - the longer it takes for these idiots to decide, the worse this situation will get.
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RE: Pentagon: Okinawa Base Issue Deadline Asap

Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:29 pm

We had an agreement with the previous government to relocate a certain number of troops and wind down business on the base over a period of years. The current government does not like that idea so they are pressing the U.S. to do something we simply do not have the ability to do. Japan's P.M. has to save face, though, by standing firm since it was something he campaigned on. What a cluster.

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