Tags: Okinawa | base | row | Japan

Japan's PM on Edge in Okinawa Base Row

Monday, 26 Apr 2010 10:09 AM

TOKYO - An ongoing feud with the United States over the future of an American military base in Okinawa may end up costing Japan's prime minister his job, a weekend poll shows.

Two out of three Japanese say they disapprove of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, according to a Nikkei newspaper poll. It shows that 68 percent of voters disapprove of the prime minister's performance and 59 percent say he should resign if he can't resolve the fight over the future of the Futenma Air Base in Okinawa.

The poll comes on the heels of a massive rally in Okinawa, where nearly 100,000 residents gathered Sunday to demand the base move off the island.

In 2006, the United States and Japan agreed to move the base from a city center to a rural part of Okinawa.

But last year, as then-candidate Hatoyama campaigned for the country's top job, he promised to move the base off of Okinawa altogether. The issue is an emotional one for Okinawans who currently give up 10 percent to 20 percent of the island to the U.S. military.

Okinawans say the U.S. military has been responsible for a number of blights in Okinawa, from serious crimes like rape and drunken driving, to environmental and noise pollution.

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TOKYO - An ongoing feud with the United States over the future of an American military base in Okinawa may end up costing Japan's prime minister his job, a weekend poll shows.
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2010-09-26
 
 

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