On Aug. 13, a dozen anti-base demonstrators scuffled with police outside the gates of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan, Okinawa, as marines watched from behind the fence cracking jokes and laughing.

Such scenes occur daily in Okinawa, which is saddled with roughly 70 percent of U.S. bases in Japan, and are usually ignored by the national media. But on this day, Tokyo TV stations had dispatched so many reporters they outnumbered the protesters.

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