Hirokazu Nakaima, governor of Okinawa, after years spent to decide over where a new US base should be placed, agreed to landfill work to develop a new base in a less densely populated part of the island.The base will be built near Nago, in the North of the island. The US bases are very unpopular in Okinawa and around Japan, and there is growing pressure from residents for the US military footprint to be reduced. Residents, for years, have demanded that the US should move out of Okinawa prefecture completely.The US has around 26.
000 troops on Okinawa under a long-standing security alliance with Japan.Not EnoughOver 1000 angry protesters, who occupied the lobby and formed a human chain outside, called for Nakaima to retract his approval of the fill work and resign.”Okinawa residents cannot tolerate the base relocation within the prefecture” said one of the protesters.
“As an Okinawa resident, I am ashamed of choosing such a governor. He should step down”, said a 67 year old anti-base activist who has been leading a sit-in in Nago near the planned construction site of the Futenma replacement base.US and CrimeList of Main Crimes Committed and Incidents Concerning the U.S. Military on OkinawaThe Okinawan community has long been against the presence of the U.S. military, which recently announced that thousands of Marines will be moved to a base in Guam.
In the last 30 years, there were 5,634 criminal offenses committed by US servicemen, including 25 murders, 385 burglaries, 25 arsons, 127 rapes, 306 assaults and 2,827 thefts.December 2012Two drunken US sailors were arrested for trespassing after allegedly breaking a night-time curfew imposed last year following the gang-rape of a Japanese woman.November 2012A 24 year old service man has been reported to have broken into a home in Yomitan around 1 am and attacking a 13 years old boy who lived there.The 13 year old boy was sleeping in his room when the serviceman punched him, followed by breaking a TV. The man left by jumping out of a window, injuring himself and requiring hospitalization.
October 2012The suspects, named as Christopher Browning and Skyler Dozierwalker, both 23, were arrested after allegedly raping the woman as she walked home in the early hours.The alleged victim, who is in her 20s, later identified the sailors at an off-base housing complex, local media said. The two men, who are in Japanese police custody, had reportedly been drinking before the alleged incident.