The Fight Over U.S. Bases in Okinawa Hurts Local and National Interests in Japan

The U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma located in a crowded residential area of Ginowan, in Okinawa (Kyodo photo via AP Images).
The U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma located in a crowded residential area of Ginowan, in Okinawa (Kyodo photo via AP Images).
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On Sept. 30, residents of Okinawa, Japan’s southernmost prefecture, were busy with an almost ritualistic activity this time of year: cleaning up after a tropical storm. Typhoon Trami had struck the day before, causing dozens of injuries, power outages and transportation disruptions. But this year, Okinawans had something else on their minds beyond the recovery efforts. They were preparing to go to the polls to elect their next governor. The election, initially scheduled for November, had been moved up due to the death of Gov. Takeshi Onaga in August, from pancreatic cancer. Onaga was a staunch opponent of a contentious […]

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