• Parkersburg, West Virginia

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The Oct. 3 editorial “Driving ‘safe’ through the Diet” states that Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda “is under pressure from the United States to resolve the issue of relocating U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma on Okinawa Island.”

Noda is no more capable of producing a solution acceptable to all parties on the base issue than his predecessors were. While the central government publicly recognizes the Futenma base as a considerable burden on Okinawans, the current plan of relocating the facility elsewhere on Okinawa, and several thousand U.S. Marines to Guam, is cost-prohibitive for Japan, especially in the wake of this year’s disasters.

If Noda wants to lead Japan for any appreciable amount of time and have a lasting, positive effect on its future, he will focus primarily on Japan’s numerous economic ills, and relegate the Futenma issue to one of secondary importance for the time being.

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.

patrick hattman

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