Thousands of people have protested on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa demanding the removal of a US military base there.
The local mayor called on new Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama “to put an end to Okinawa’s burden and ordeal”.
Japan and the US agreed in 2006 to relocate the Futenma base from an urban area to reclaimed land but the PM’s election has rekindled opposition…
Japan’s new government has expressed a determination to have a less subservient relationship with the US.
Organisers of the protest claimed 21,000 people took part.
That’s, uh, about 14 times the number of Michelle Bachman’s anti-healthcare teabaggers – covered by all the US talking heads, last week.
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Mayor of Ginowan, Yoichi Iha, told the rally: “I urge Prime Minister Hatoyama to tell President Obama that Okinawa needs no more US bases…”
The base is in a busy city centre and amid local concern about noise, pollution and crime the two countries agreed in 2006 to move it to reclaimed land on Okinawa’s coast.
Mr Hatoyama, whose election in August ended more than half a century of conservative dominance, has suggested the base could be moved off the island, or perhaps out of Japan altogether.
So, the Japanese are supposed to honor a treaty written with the connivance of a U.S. president who ignored treaty law as if it only concerned steroids in baseball.