The circumstances of the arrest last week of two activists opposed to the construction of a replacement facility for the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa Prefecture raise questions about the propriety of the arrest as well as suspicions that the U.S. military is about to crack down on protesters in general.

Such a perception could intensify local resentment against both the United States and the Japanese government, which is pushing the construction, possibly fueling more protests and confusion. The Abe administration should seriously think whether it is wise to stick to the construction plan against Okinawan people’s opposition, which has been clearly expressed in a recent series of elections.

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