Foreign Policy Blogs

Relocation of US air station delayed until 2014

The U.S. and Japan agreed to delay relocation of the U.S. Marine Futenma air station to another location in Okinawa until 2014, at the earliest. The wording of the agreement said the base would be transferred “at the earliest possible date after 2014.” This wording will allow the two countries to put the relocation on hold indefinitely. This has led to an outcry from Okinawa leaders, including Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima, who said the plan disregarded the people of Okinawa.

Although the Japanese opinion of the U.S. military has improved since the U.S.’s response to the March 11 quake and tsunami, residents in Okinawa have long complained about noise from the air base and the high-profile crimes committed by U.S. servicemen (although the servicemen commit proportionally fewer crimes than the Okinawa natives themselves). The plan would have moved the air base to a remote area of Nago’s Henoko district, which would have destroyed one of the few remaining underwater habitats in Okinawa.

Considering the two countries have made no progress on this issue in the past six years, and are now postponing it indefinitely, I don’t think the base will ever be moved.



Dustin Dye

Dustin Dye is the author of the YAKUZA DYNASTY series, available through the Amazon Kindle.

He lived in Okayama, Japan, where he taught English at a junior high school through the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program for three years. He is a graduate from the University of Kansas, where he received a bachelor's degree in anthropology.

His interest in Japan began in elementary school after seeing Godzilla fight Ghidorah, the three-headed monster. But it wasn't until he discovered Akira Kurosawa's films through their spaghetti Western remakes that he truly became fascinated in the people and culture of Japan.

He lives in Kansas with his wife, daughter and guinea pig.

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