Pressure is mounting to have the Americans remove their bases from Okinawa as 26 mayors from different cities in Okinawa met sending their request to Tokyo. Although the specific base isn’t mentioned it probably would be the US Marine base in Okinawa as tensions increase almost daily between China and Japan. It isn’t likely the bases will be closed anytime soon but the continued pressure from the people of Okinawa for the US to close their bases, and the continued alleged threat from China in the South China Sea by the Senkaku Islands, has Tokyo in a difficult position. Also, Japan’s Shinzo Abe had a special meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte before the start of the Southeast Asian Nation Summit in Vientiane, Laos.
26 Japanese Mayors want to close the US base
September 8, 2016
The mayors of 26 cities in Okinawa Prefecture expressed the need to close the US military base because of the growth of tension in the region. It is reported that they have officially sent requests to Tokyo to radically revise the US-Japanese agreement on the status of the armed forces.
Protest of the locals against the US base continue. The tension has intensified after the murder of a local girl by the US soldier.
It is reported that over the weekend the base on Okinawa is going to be visited by the defense minister Tomomi Inada. This will be her first visit since her appointment. Only last month the United States transferred 26 stealth bombers to Okinawa.