Regarding the Dec. 9 article “Okinawa takes base row into its own hands“: One plank of the platform on which the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP) is campaigning is that Futenma air base must not remain at its present site. That’s fine. In this regard, the LDP and the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) are in complete accord.

But there’s a catch. Both parties say Henoko in northern Okinawa is the best choice for Futenma’s relocation site. The LDP’s manifesto even says a municipality that accepts the U.S. base should be given “special aid and benefits.” In other words, they want to nearly bribe the municipality that accepts the government plan.

The Futenma issue can never be solved simply by moving the base to another place within Okinawa. The consensus here is that the U.S. military presence, which has lasted 67 years, should not be fixed and allowed to continue permanently. Futenma should be moved out of Okinawa and outside Japan. But Futenma’s functions are not planned for phaseout. Overall military functions are to be strengthened with the aim of perpetuating the U.S. military presence — which is on par with virtual military occupation. The LDP’s campaign pledges proactively to lend a helping hand to perpetuate the function of existing U.S. bases on Okinawa.

We can never accept such a double-dealing policy by either an LDP or DPJ government.

yoshio shimoji

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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