Dispute Over Marine Base Sours
U.S. Ties With Japan

 

Eric Talmadge
The Associated Press (Chicago Tribune)
January 6, 2010

When the U.S. took over a Japanese airfield here in the closing days of World War II, it was surrounded by sugar cane fields and the smoldering battlegrounds of Okinawa. It is now the focus of a deepening dispute that is testing Japan’s security alliance with the United States and dividing its new government in Tokyo.

A large city has grown up around the base, and helicopters and cargo planes from the U.S. Marine Corps facility buzz so low over Futenma No. 2 Elementary School, whose playground fence borders the facility, that the windows rattle and teachers stop class until the aircraft are on the ground.

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