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Experts on Japan-U.S. relations are concerned that prolonging the bilateral row over the U.S. Futenma airfield in Okinawa may lead to a situation akin to “Japan passing.”

“I think there is a serious danger the current situation will contribute to Japan passing,” Kent Calder, director of the Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, said at a symposium Tuesday sponsored by Kyodo News and SAIS. The theme of the symposium was “Japan-U.S.: New Governments and New Relations.”

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