Thursday, 31st December 2009
In Events In Japan,
Japan set date for US base decision
The Japanese government has set a deadline on its decision over the relocation of the US military base on the island of Okinawa.
According to local news source the Jiji Press, the government has told US officials that by May, it will decide where to move the base to.
Since the end of the second world war, thousands of US troops have been stationed in Japan but since the election of new prime minister Yukio Hatoyama in August this year, the Japanese government has pledged to reduce its dependency on the troops.
Currently, there are 47,000 US troops in Japan, with over 50 per cent of them living on the Okinawa base, which is unpopular with many local residents on the island.
The Jiji Press said that the state minister for Okinawa affairs Seiji Maehara told US ambassador John Roos of the deadline at a meeting in Tokyo earlier this month.
Written by Kimberley Homer.