In response to the Oct. 28 article “Keeping Futenma in Okinawa ‘impossible,’ governor warns,” the controversy over the air station reminds me of the Vieques Naval Gunnery range and Roosevelt Roads Navy base in Puerto Rico.
None of the locals liked the gunnery range, and they succeeded in getting the U.S. Navy to close it. Shortly after Vieques was closed, there was a Base Realignment and Closure Committee hearing, and Roosevelt Roads Naval Station was closed — because Vieques was closed. The whole area went into an economic depression, because most of the income was related to supporting the bases, either through employing local workers directly, or in hotels and restaurants used by the sailors.
I would strongly recommend that the government of Okinawa double-check their figures before risking the economic health of the area.
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.
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