Okinawans Step Up U.S. Base Protest
Posted on Nov 8, 2009
With a new populist government in place in Tokyo, the people of Okinawa are stepping up their protest against the relocation of a U.S. Marine Corps air base on the island. They want the base gone altogether. —JCL
Thousands of people have protested on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa demanding the removal of a US military base there.
The local mayor called on new Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama “to put an end to Okinawa’s burden and ordeal”.
Japan and the US agreed in 2006 to relocate the Futenma base from an urban area to reclaimed land but the PM’s election has rekindled opposition.
The protest comes ahead of this week’s visit by US President Barack Obama.
Okinawan opposition to the U.S. military focuses on noise pollution, aircraft accidents, environmental degradation and crimes committed by American personnel.