Okinawa Residents Angry Over Attack on Woman by U.S. Serviceman


The Mainichi
August 21, 2012

Residents in this base-hosting prefecture have expressed outrage over an indecent assault on an Okinawa woman by an American serviceman, reiterating their calls for a withdrawal of U.S. forces.

“The pain and fear felt by the victim are immeasurable, and the incident provoked strong fear among local communities,” said Suzuyo Takasato, a representative of the “Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence,” during a press conference at the Okinawa Prefectural Government office on Aug. 20.

Corporal Iian Tarver, 21, of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Camp Zukeran is under arrest for allegedly committing indecent acts on a woman in her 40s and injuring her after dragging her to the ground on a road in Naha at around 4:30 a.m. on Aug. 18.

To read the full story at The Mainichi web site, click here.


[IMAGE CREDIT: Suzuyo Takasato, second from right, a representative of the “Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence,” calls for a withdrawal of U.S. forces during a press conference at the Okinawa Prefectural Government office on the afternoon of Aug. 20. (Mainichi)]

U.S.-Japan Deal Withdraws 9,000 Marines from Okinawa


Bob Kovach and Chelsea J. Carter
April 27, 2012


Roughly half the U.S. Marines on Okinawa will be transferred under an agreement announced Thursday that will reduce the military footprint in Japan, easing local resentments over the amount of land being used by American forces.

Some 9,000 Marines along with their family members will be transferred under the agreement, with about 5,000 being sent to Guam as part of a military buildup on the U.S. territory in the Pacific, according to a joint statement released by the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee.

“I am very pleased that, after many years, we have reached this important agreement and plan of action,” Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said.

To read the full story at the CNN web site, click here.


Additional Reporting:

Joint Statement of the Security Consultative Committee, U.S. Department of Defense, April 26, 2012

US, Japan Reach Agreement to Move 9,000 Marines, Voice of America, April 27, 2012

U.S., Japan Agree on Okinawa Troop Relocation, American Forces Press Service, April 27, 2012

US to Move Marines Out of Japan, The Guardian, April 27, 2012

Protesters demonstrate against US military bases on Okinawa. The Japanese government faces opposition to plans to keep US troops on the island. Photo: AP

Second Battle of Okinawa Looms as China’s Naval Ambition Grows

Pacific island is home to 34 US military bases and focus of escalating tension between Japan and China

David Hearst
March 7, 2011

In a whitewashed bunker cut into the limestone of the southern tip of the island of Okinawa, the headquarters of the Imperial Japanese Navy prepared to make its last stand.

In June 1945, in one of the last, blood-soaked spasms of the second world war, a quarter of the civilian population died as US troops stormed the island.

Inside the bunker, imperial army troops pulled the pins of their grenades rather than surrender. One corner of the tunnel is peppered with shrapnel marks. The Japanese script on the wall still carries the defiant message: “American soldier Pigs! We will soon turn the battle around. Then we will reduce your numbers.” It frequently gets lost in translation. “We cover it up when the Americans come round here,” the guide said.

Today the island chain finds itself at the centre of a second battle of Okinawa. The military threat comes from China, intent on securing its sea lanes and pushing back America’s naval power into the Pacific.

To read the full story at the, click here.

Gov’t to Set up Panel to Ease Burden on Okinawa


The Mainchi Daily News (Kyodo)
September 7, 2010

The government plans to set up a panel, probably later this month, to discuss with the Okinawa prefectural government how to ease the burden on the prefecture from the concentrated presence of U.S. military bases, sources familiar with the matter said Monday.

The central government is planning to establish the panel due to strong local opposition to the Japan-U.S. agreement on the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station within the prefecture, the sources said.

To read the full story at The Mainchi Daily News, click here.

For additional information on this issue, refer to the links below:

EDITORIAL: Futenma relocation plan  Asahi Shimbun, August 5, 2010

Okinawa Assembly Chides U.S. on Base Relocation


David Allen
Stars & Stripes
July 9, 2010

Okinawa’s lawmakers Friday urged the United States to rethink plans to build a new Marine Corps air station on the island.

On the last day of its current session, the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly passed a resolution calling on the U.S. and Japan to reconsider a recent decision to go forward with closing Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, located in urban Ginowan, and moving Marine air units to the island’s rural northeast shore.

Addressed to President Barack Obama, the leaders of the House and Senate, the U.S. Ambassador to Japan and the commander of U.S. Forces Japan, the resolution states that the plan — established in a 2006 U.S.-Japan agreement — “ignores the full will of the people of Okinawa, who wish to move the operations out of Okinawa.”

To read the full story at Stars & Stripes, click here.

Hatoyama, Obama to Talk on Futenma Air Base


Vinay Sarawagi and Roshni Menon
May 25, 2010

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama will speak with President Barack Obama over the phone Thursday to discuss relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station, the Kyodo news agency said.

Hatoyama and Obama’s talks will revolve around relocating the air station, which is in Okinawa Prefecture, to a coastal zone of the Marines’ Camp Schwab, also in the prefecture, the news agency said.

Ahead of the talks, the two governments may release a joint statement centering on agreements to build a replacement facility for the airfield in the Henoko district in Nago and reach a decision on the relocation plan by September, the news agency said it learned from Japan-U.S. diplomatic sources.

To read the full story at the Reuters web page, click here.


For additional information on this issue, please refer to the following reports:

EDITORIAL: Obama to Okinawa: Abandon Hope and Change  Washington Times, May 25, 2010

Okinawa Decision Has Missile Defense Element   Aviation Week,  May 25, 2010

Fukushima’s Okinawa Trip Makes Waves   The Japan Times,  May 25, 2010

Hillary Clinton Begins Key Week-Long East Asia Visit



BBC News
May 21, 2010

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has arrived in Japan at the start of a week-long trip to Asia.

Her visit will be dominated by discussions over North Korea after investigators blamed it for the sinking of a South Korean warship.

She will meet the Japanese prime minister to discuss Japan-US ties and the future of the US military base on the island of Okinawa.

To read the full story on the BBC News web site, click here.


For additional information on this issue, please refer to the following reports: 

Q+A – U.S. Airbase row in focus as Clinton visits Japan  Reuters India,  May 21, 2010

Deal on Futenma expected May 28   Asahi Shimbun, May 21, 2010

Deal Seems Near on U.S. Base in Japan  The New York Times, May 20, 2010

Large Number of Crimes, Accidents Involving U.S. Forces Occur in Okinawa


The Mainichi Daily News (Kyodo)
May 19, 2010

More than 50 percent of crimes and accidents linked to members of the U.S. military in Japan in the four years from fiscal 2002 involved those stationed in Okinawa, according to Defense Ministry and other data made available Tuesday.

To read the full story in The Mainichi Daily News, click here.


For additional information on this issue, please refer to the following report:

Ministry of Defense Civilian Car Accident Victim Guidelines   Black Tokyo, Dec. 6, 2009


Japan Backs Down on Runway Change in US Base Plan


AsiaOne News (AFP)
May 19, 2010

Japan has told the United States it will back down in a dispute over the relocation of an unpopular US airbase and build offshore runways on landfill rather than pylons, a report said Wednesday.

In the row over the base on the island of Okinawa, Japan had proposed building the runways on pylons to minimise the impact on a marine habitat, but Washington argued this would heighten the risk of a terrorist attack.

The concession, reported by the Yomiuri Shimbun daily, would be the latest twist in a long-simmering dispute over what to do with the controversial US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, now located in a crowded city area.

To read the full story at asiaone news, click here.


For additional information on this issue, please review the reports below:

Approach Paths Limited for New U.S. Airstrip  The Japan Times (Kyodo News), Dec. 6, 2006

Thousands Rally for Okinawa Dugong, Letter Protesting Base Relocation Hand-delivered to Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama. May 14, 2010

Naval Gazing in Asia  Foreign Policy,  May 18, 2010

U.S. Court Rules in the “Okinawa Dugong” Case: Implications for U.S. Military Bases Overseas  Critical Asian Studies 40:3 (2008),  Miyume Tanji

Photo: AFP

Japan Not Ready for Base Deal


The Straits Times (AFP)
May 18, 2010

Japan won’t be ready to resolve a row over a controversial US airbase when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits Japan later this week, Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada said on Tuesday.

Mrs Clinton will visit Japan on Friday, mainly to discuss a sunken South Korean navy ship now suspected to have been caused by a North Korean attack, as well as Iran’s nuclear programme, Mr Okada said in a news conference.

Tokyo and Washington have quarrelled for months over where to relocate the locally unpopular US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station now located in a city area of the southern island of Okinawa.

To read the full story in The Straits Times, click here.