• Portland, Ore.

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In his Dec. 13 letter, “Okinawans must challenge Tokyo,” Bob Avery suggests that Japan should consider moving U.S. military bases onto the mainland of Japan to free Okinawans from the burden (of using so much of its area to host the facilities).

That’s not necessary. I think the United States should move its bases to U.S. territories outside of Japan. Japan in turn must be ready to defend itself, and the U.S. if so requested. Japan has enjoyed a free ride for many years, but the time is near for it to arm itself. No nation can be called a first-class nation unless it can defend itself from enemies.

As China keeps up its military buildup, there exist uncertainties and uneasiness in Southeast Asia, since no outside pressure exists to force China to reconsider expansionist moves. A Japanese military buildup and its strong tieup with the U.S. military would exert constant pressure and remind China not to make aggressive moves.

ike hanawa

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