More than 20,000 people on the Japanese island of Okinawa protested the decades-long presence of U.S. troops there on Monday Nov. 9.
Okinawa, sometimes refered to as the United States’ “unsinkable aircraft carrier”, hosts more than a dozen U.S. military installations. On Monday in the city of Ginowan, the protest centered on the Futenma air base, which is next to a school. More than 70 percent of Okinawans oppose the base.
Ginowan mayor Yoichi Iha said, “Okinawa has suffered for too long.”
Okinawans protest U.S. troops based on the island. In 2008, news surfaced that a U.S. Marine raped an Okinawan girl. (Photo from Japan Probe).
Okinawa was annexed by Japan in the late 19th century. The United States occupied the territory during World War II. Japanese sovereignty was restored in 1972.
President Barack Obama visits Asia this month. His first stop is Tokyo, the Japanese capital. (Photo from the White House).
The issue of U.S. troops in Japan will likely be on the agenda during President Barack Obama’s visit to Tokyo this weekend when he is scheduled to meet newly-elected Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.
About 50,000 U.S. soldiers are stationed in Japan, America’s closest ally in the region. some in Japan’s national government want all American troops out of the country, but for the short-term, this is mere wishful thinking.
ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Japanese protest against US military presence
By Mark Willacy
November 9, 2009
The Associated Press by way of CBS News
U.S. Base Should Stay On Okinawa: Gates
By Lara Jakes
October 20, 2009
Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus by way of Britannica Online
The Okinawan Alternative to Japan's Dependent Militarism
By Gavan McCormack
October 20, 2008
Do U.S. Troops in Japan Need Babysitters?
Posted On Japan Probe
February 16, 2008