Leftist's Re-election Undercuts Okinawa Base Relocation Plan

Monday, 20 Jan 2014 08:03 AM

By Elliot Jager

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
The re-election of the communist-supported mayor of a city on the Japanese island of Okinawa is being seen as a major setback in efforts to relocate the locally unpopular U.S. military base.

The conservative government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to move ahead anyway with the relocattion to a less populated section of Okinawa.

But that could spark mass protests, the New York Times reports.

Locals want the base— 34 military facilities in all— off the island altogether, according to the Times. It was a source of tension in U.S.-Japan relations even before three Marines raped a 12 year-old Japanese schoolgirl in 1995.

The base, with its 25,000 personnel, is viewed by its neighbors as a source of crime and  pollution.

Mayor Susumu Inamine of Nago overcame his government supported conservative opponent by 19,839 to 15,684 votes. Abe had strongly supported the challenger offering public works inducements to sway the electorate.

Inamine said, "Without the mayor's approval and consent [the base relocation] process cannot go forward. In order to protect the future for our children, I will not allow a new base to be built."

Abe has tried to circumvent Inamine by cutting a deal with the island's governor. However, the relocation would involve construction of offshore runways for the base's air operations and the mayor would still need to approve the use of ports and roads, according to the Times.

The government is keen to resolve the issue. "We will continue to work for the development of Okinawa and reduction of the base presence," said Takeo Kawamura, a spokesman for Abe's Liberal Democratic Party.

Okinawa is strategically essential to the U.S. as a deterrent to China, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Related Stories
US Sends New Submarine-Hunting Jets to Japan Amid East Asia Tension
http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/us-sends-jets-japan/2013/12/02/id/539377
Huntsman: China Trying to Drive Wedge Between US, Japan
http://www.newsmax.com/NewsmaxTv/china-japan-us-destabilize/2013/11/27/id/539086



© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Obama Administration Fuming over Israeli Criticism of Kerry

Monday, 28 Jul 2014 13:28 PM

Obama administration officials were fuming Monday over a torrent of Israeli criticism of Secretary of State John Kerry's . . .

Report: Millions Forced to Flee for Religious Beliefs

Monday, 28 Jul 2014 13:07 PM

More members of religious communities around the world were forced to flee their homes last year than at any time in rec . . .

House Intel Chairman Rogers: US Trapped in Israel-Hamas 'PR War'

Monday, 28 Jul 2014 12:23 PM

The Obama administration and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have always had "a little bit of friction," House . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved