Relocation of Futenma airbase, Okinawa, Japan

Updated On: May 25, 2010

Mr. Hatoyama has announced that the Futenma airbase would be moved elsewhere on the island of Okinawa. Although this decision has been commended by the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, it may not go down well with the Okinawans. But, the tensions on the Korean Peninsula could ease the pressure on the Prime Minister.

Japan has vowed to work with South Korea, US and China to deal with the rising tensions. Ever since North Korea conducted nuclear and missile tests, Tokyo has imposed several restrictions against North Korea, such as travel bans, trade bans etc.

The Korean tensions have given the Prime Minister Elbow room to resolve a controversial task of relocating the Futenma airbase in Okinawa. Masashi Nishihara, president, Research Institute for Peace and Security, said: "Mr Hatoyama in the past said he has to pay more attention to the wishes of the people. Now he's shifted his position to argue that Okinawa's deterrence capability or functions can be more important. This issue of Korean peninsula has helped Mr Hatoyama very much."

Clinton commends Hatoyama over US base decision
 [Channel News Asia, 24 May 2010]
Japanese PM: U.S Military base to stay in Okinawa [CNN, 24 May 2010]

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