25 Feb '17, 1am

Japanese think tank argues for moving Marines off Okinawa

TOKYO — The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit could leave Okinawa without sacrificing its value as a security provider in the Asia-Pacific, a Japanese think tank said following a study of alternatives to building a new runway opposed by the island’s governor. It’s a point of view speakers from the New Diplomacy Initiative, a Tokyo-based think tank, conceded wasn’t likely to sway the security establishment, during a press conference Friday. However, the academics, journalists and a former government defense official argued that plans to build a new runway for Marine aircraft are so unpopular on Okinawa that they risk straining the broader U.S.-Japan security agreement. Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Japan Defense Minister Tomomi Inada each said in Tokyo that a new runway built over Oura Bay in rural Henoko is the only way forward in realigning U.S. forces...

Full article: https://www.stripes.com/news/japanese-think-tank-argues-f...

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