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HOME  > Past issues  > 2011 October 5 - 11  > Arguments arise even in US for no need of US presence in Okinawa
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2011 October 5 - 11 [WORLD]

Arguments arise even in US for no need of US presence in Okinawa

October 10, 2011
American foreign policy magazine “Foreign Affairs” in its September/October issue carried an essay insisting that the United States does not need to maintain the presence of the U.S. Marines in Okinawa.

Akahata on October 10 used this statement as an opportunity to further justify and increase the call for a withdrawal of the U.S. Marines from Okinawa.

“Foreign Affairs” is published by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a body with significant influence in regard to U.S. foreign policy decisions.

The authors are well-known security expert, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Richard Samuels, and two researchers with the RAND Corporation, a think tank with close ties to the Pentagon.

Regarding the impasse of the relocation issue of the Futenma base, the authors emphasize, “[T]he United States should decide which base and assets are more vital.”

Pointing out the importance of the Kadena Air Base as a major deterrence toward China and North Korea, it states, “Although the U.S. Marine Corps’ presence in the region is extremely important, its particular location in the western Pacific is less critical, as long as training facilities and infrastructure are adequate.”

“Wherever they are based, the marines would deploy out of garrison for many conceivable missions,” the authors point out.

Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Carl Levin has been proposing that the Japan-U.S. agreement on the relocation of Futenma base be reviewed. One of the leading members of the U.S. Senate, Tom Coburn, also insists on a review of the agreement from the viewpoint of reducing the budget deficit.

Coburn in his July report stated, “[T]he strategic rationale for maintaining conventional ground troops in the middle of Western Europe and on the islands in Asia has passed given the end of the Cold War”.

The aforementioned essay straightly admits to the impossibility for the U.S. military to continue to be stationed in Okinawa.
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