Hirokazu Nakaima, governor of Okinawa, after years spent to decide over
where a new US base should be placed, agreed to landfill work to develop
a new base in a less densely populated part of the island.
The base will be built near Nago, in the North of the island.
The US bases are very unpopular in Okinawa and around Japan, and there
is growing pressure from residents for the US military footprint to be
Residents, for years, have demanded that the US should move out of Okinawa prefecture completely.
The US has around 26.000 troops on Okinawa under a long-standing security alliance with Japan.
1000 angry protesters, who occupied the lobby and formed a human chain
outside, called for Nakaima to retract his approval of the fill work and
“Okinawa residents cannot tolerate the base relocation within the prefecture” said one of the protesters.
“As an Okinawa resident, I am ashamed of choosing such a governor. He
should step down”, said a 67 year old anti-base activist who has been
leading a sit-in in Nago near the planned construction site of the
Futenma replacement base.
US and Crime
List of Main Crimes Committed and Incidents Concerning the U.S. Military on Okinawa
The Okinawan community has long been against the presence of the U.S.
military, which recently announced that thousands of Marines will be
moved to a base in Guam.
In the last 30 years, there were 5,634 criminal offenses committed by US
servicemen, including 25 murders, 385 burglaries, 25 arsons, 127 rapes,
306 assaults and 2,827 thefts.
Two drunken US sailors were arrested for trespassing after allegedly
breaking a night-time curfew imposed last year following the gang-rape
of a Japanese woman.
A 24 year old service man has been reported to have broken into a home
in Yomitan around 1 am and attacking a 13 years old boy who lived there.
The 13 year old boy was sleeping in his room when the serviceman punched
him, followed by breaking a TV. The man left by jumping out of a
window, injuring himself and requiring hospitalization.
The suspects, named as Christopher Browning and Skyler Dozierwalker,
both 23, were arrested after allegedly raping the woman as she walked
home in the early hours.
The alleged victim, who is in her 20s, later identified the sailors at
an off-base housing complex, local media said. The two men, who are in
Japanese police custody, had reportedly been drinking before the alleged