Okinawa and the Nago heliport problem in the US-Japan relationship
The impact of the decision about when and if the United States Marine Corp Air Station will be relocated in Okinawa reverberates beyond the prefectural shores. It has the potential to upset the G-8 Summit, scheduled to be held in Nago City in July 2000, as well as to affect the strategic relationship between the US and Japan. In this article, Robert Eldridge, Post-doctoral Fellow at the Suntory Foundation, Osaka, reviews the history of this complicated problem. He argues that the US and Japan must continue to make progress addressing Okinawan requests and concerns. Ameliorating Okinawa’ s burden, while at the same time more actively seeking public understanding and suppor t of the US-Japan security relationship and Japan’ s role in that relationship, as well as increasing Japan’ s ability to cooperate in times of emergency, is in the interest of both countries.