Marines vs Okinawa …. Again?

The United States Marines have been on Okinawa since WWII. First as an occupation force, and then as an allied nation. Once again they find themselves in a battle. This time they are surrounded by the government of Okinawa, the national government of Japan, and finally, the needs of the United States Government. The Marines have been surrounded before. Read the article for the details.

Marine_Corps_Air_Station_Futenma

Japan PM Suspends Work on US Base on Okinawa, Agrees to Talk

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday he has decided to temporarily suspend preliminary work on moving a U.S. Marine Corpsbase on Okinawa and will resume talks on the contentious relocation plan.

The central government and Okinawa’s prefectural government have been locked in a legal battle over relocating the base, with both sides suing the other.

Abe said that his government is accepting a court proposal not to force the reclamation work over Okinawa’s objections. The court in February made the proposal as an interim step allowing talks. Details of the proposal were not made public.

The sudden reversal of his policy to continue with the reclamation work is seen as an attempt to win votes ahead of this summer’s parliamentary elections.

Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga last year issued an order to suspend permission for the reclamation work. Then the central government sued to reverse the order, to which Okinawa counter-sued, seeking a court injunction.

The work involves filling in part of a bay to create off-coast runways for Futenma air station, which is now in a more densely populated area on the island.

Onaga later flew in to Tokyo and held talks with Abe at his office, both confirming to follow the court proposal and abide by any subsequent court decisions related to their legal dispute. Onaga welcomed Friday’s decision by both sides as “very significant.”

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