U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy made a meet-and-greet trip to Okinawa last month, an opportunity to gauge the lay of the land and listen to some of the stakeholders in the longstanding controversies over plans to reduce America's military footprint in the prefecture.

Local newspapers published editorials in English during her visit so nothing would get lost in translation, pointing out that Okinawans overwhelmingly oppose the plan to relocate the giant Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from Ginowan City to a new base at Henoko in the north of the island.

The editorials also called on the ambassador to show as much concern for protecting the nation’s last remaining population of dugong (a sea mammal, like a manatee, classed as being at risk of extinction) as she has for the dolphins slaughtered every year in the port of Taiji, Wakayama, that she tweeted about earlier this year.