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Tags: gates us okinawa japan

Gates: US To Defer to Japan on Okinawa Base

Thursday, 13 January 2011 11:57 AM EST


Striking a conciliatory tone on an issue that has divided Japan and the United States, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said on Thursday that the Obama administration would follow Tokyo’s lead in working to relocate an American air base on Okinawa, The New York Times reports.

During talks with Japanese leaders in Tokyo, Mr. Gates said he also discussed a sophisticated new antimissile system that the United States is jointly developing with the Japanese, and the two nations’ response to North Korea’s recent military provocations against the South.

However, a top item on the agenda was the relocation of the United States Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, an emotional issue here that drove an uncharacteristic wedge between the two allies last year when the prime minister at the time, Yukio Hatoyama, wavered on whether to keep the base on Okinawa.

While the two nations finally agreed in May to relocate the noisy helicopter base to a less populated part of Okinawa by 2014, local resistance has made that time frame look increasingly unrealistic.

Read the entire story at nytimes.com


© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Thursday, 13 January 2011 11:57 AM
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