• Laguna Hills, Calif.

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Regarding the Jan. 25 article reprinted from Sentaku magazine, “Japan could pay big price for hurting American pride”: As an American living in the United States, I could not disagree more with the assumption made in the article that American pride would be hurt by changes in the defense agreement or the location of U.S. troops on Japanese soil. America is not one to take its ball and go home. We work with our allies, particularly a trusted and valued ally like Japan.

Since the end of World War II, trust and mutual respect have grown between our nations. If Americans heard from local Okinawa residents about the impact of a base in terms of their daily lives, average Americans would understand and sympathize. Crime, noise, traffic — these are things that annoy every American. While it is essential for America to support Japan’s Self-Defense Forces against Japan’s potential enemies, we must also respect Japan’s sovereignty.

Americans know that we are guests of the Japanese people and that guests should cause as little trouble for their hosts as possible. If that means moving a base so that people can finally have peace and quiet, so be it. The U.S. military is quite capable of defending Japan from another location. Maybe it would be a little less convenient and more expensive, but remaining good guests and good friends is far more important.

America will do whatever is necessary to protect the population of Japan so long as the Japanese government and Japanese people request it. Friends can disagree with one another from time to time without affecting the friendship.

christopher oliphant

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