Robert Eldridge’s letter, “Real contribution of U.S. bases,” poses the question of how Okinawa could ever break away from the lackadaisical economy based on the U.S. military presence.

That’s the problem everyone must do his or her utmost to resolve. Unfortunately some people in Okinawan society proactively support the current economy, saying the U.S. bases contribute to the economy to an even greater degree than is officially estimated.

If all the factors that Eldridge suggests are taken into account to arrive at the estimated 20 to 25 percent of Okinawa’s gross domestic income, then the percentage that U.S. service members or the U.S. side directly contributes would probably shrink all the more.

Doesn’t Eldridge realize that local business people, traditionally the most ardent supporters of the U.S. military presence, have begun saying that the U.S. military bases have become a hindrance to Okinawa’s economic development?

yoshio shimoji
naha, okinawa

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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