Slices of Japanese business, politics and life
They may be on first-name terms, but Barack’s discussions with Yukio during his 24-hour stay in Tokyo have left unresolved a feud over a U.S. military base and deeper questions about the future.
They agreed to review the five decade-old U.S.-Japan alliance as both countries adapt to China’s rising regional and global clout, and they agreed to resolve as soon as possible a dispute over the U.S. Marines Futenma airbase on Japan’s southern island of Okinawa.
But President Obama and Prime Minister Hatoyama remain at odds over how to resolve the feud over Futenma – located in the middle of a city whose residents are sick of the noise and worried about the danger of accidents.
Obama made clear he wants Tokyo to implement a 2006 deal under which Futenma would be closed and replaced with a facility on a less crowded part of the island. The agreement was part of a broader realignment of the 47,000 U.S. troops in Japan, including a shift of up to 8,000 Marines to the U.S. territory of Guam.