U.S., Japan May Scrap Accord on Marines in Okinawa

The Chosun Ilbo
VOA News
February 14, 2012

Japan and the United States appear to be heading toward canceling a 2006 accord that would have relocated a strategic American military facility to a less crowded part of the island of Okinawa. This comes as the city at the heart of the base controversy has elected a new mayor.

Impeded by activists and local politicians who want U.S. military bases and their personnel moved off Okinawa instead of relocated to other parts of the island, influential Japanese officials, according to sources, are concluding the agreed-to plan with Washington will not be implemented.

That would mean the Futenma Marine Corps Air Station remains operational in the middle of the heavily congested city of Ginowan.

On Sunday, voters in Ginowan elected Atsushi Sakima as their new mayor.

Cheers of “banzai” erupted in Sakima’s campaign headquarters when word came he was assured victory over a leftist anti-base hardliner. But Sakima also campaigned on a pledge to have the Marine air station removed from the island. …

Read on: http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2012/02/14/2012021400456.html