Of all the issues plaguing Japan’s relationship with the United States, none is as contentious as the U.S. troop presence on Okinawa. Since the rape of a 12-year-old schoolgirl by three U.S. servicemen in 1995, every criminal act committed by a U.S. soldier has made headlines, fueling local anger and resentment and, more importantly, reawakening the debate in both the U.S. and Japan over the reason for the U.S. presence in not only Okinawa but all of East Asia.
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