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Okinawa Governor to Discuss Relocation of US Military Base With Trump’s Team

Governor of the Japanese Okinawa prefecture Takeshi Onaga left for the United States to discuss the relocation of the US military base, local media reported Tuesday.

Onaga plans to deliver a speech at the George Washington University and to hold a press conference to explain the “burden” of the US military facilities for Okinawa residents, according to the Kyodo news agency.

On December 26, 2016, the agency reported that Onaga had retracted the decision preventing the United States from moving its air base within the island. The governor’s decision came shortly after the national government won a lawsuit against the state, forcing the latter to allow the move of the Futenma Air Station to the Henoko Bay in Nago.

The talks on the base’s relocation have been ongoing for over two decades and have been significantly hindered lately by the steadfast opposition of the local residents, many of whom would like to see the base gone rather than relocated.

Okinawa occupies less than 1 percent of Japanese territory but hosts some 74 percent of the country’s total US military presence.

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US military base employee held for drunk-driving in Okinawa

Okinawa police say the 24-year-old woman was detained after she failed to stop at an intersection. She collided with a car whose driver is said to be unhurt. Local police say the American worker’s alcohol level was four times the legal limit. The US military has prohibited its service members from drinking alcohol off base and outside their homes. The ban comes amid rising anger in Okinawa over crimes committed by the US military personnel. Last week, Okinawa demonstrators held another protest against the presence of the U-S military on their island. The protest was triggered by the rape and murder of a Japanese girl by an employee of the US base.

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