Consider the defense alternative

Moscow, Idaho

Regarding the Feb. 10 Kyodo article “Iwakuni housing land sale in doubt“: Does the Japanese government have no honor? Is its word no good? First we had the interminable squabbles over moving the bulk of the 3rd Marine Division from Okinawa to Guam, and relocating U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to another site within Okinawa, following agreements with the government.

Now that the Japanese government seems to have successfully talked the U.S. State Department into moving marine air units based at Futenma — a new air station will probably never be built on Okinawa. Meanwhile, the mayor of Iwakuni is threatening to hold up the sale of land previously designated for construction of housing for the families of marines stationed there.

Perhaps the many years of Japan paying very little for its defense while American taxpayers footed the costs of stationing U.S. forces there are over and that it is time for U.S. forces — all of them — to come home. Maybe Japan should pay for and man their own defenses against possible aggression by North Korea, a rising China or Russia. Our patience is not infinite.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

don kaag