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In his May 29 letter, “” J. Tagami makes the common error of linking Japanese attitudes toward U.S. Marines stationed in Okinawa to the Japan-U.S. security alliance itself. Tagami is wrong to believe that many Japanese take America for granted. Support for the alliance is strong.

The problem is the basing of U.S. Marines at Futenma Air Station in Okinawa. The marines in Okinawa serve no deterrent function. They achieve nothing positive other than to meet the emotional needs of those who feel reassured simply by the fact that the marines are there. The marines are a liability to the alliance in that the forced closing of the Futenma base after an accident within the city of Ginowan could snowball into broad-scale community pressure on other Japan-based U.S. facilities.

The alliance would best be served by recognizing the realities of the 21st-century Asia and closing the base down.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

paul de vries

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