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Wednesday, 23rd June 2010
In General Japan News,

Japanese prime minister apologises over US military base

Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan has apologised to residents on the island of Okinawa for the burden of US military bases situated there and promised to address their concerns over the issue.

Mr Kan visited Okinawa to mark the 65th anniversary of the end of the bloody 82-day Battle of Okinawa during World War II.

The Futenma airbase, which is home to around 49,000 US troops, has been a controversial issue in US-Japan relations, with many calling for it to be removed from the island.

"I promise to seriously try all the more to reduce Okinawa's burden related to the US bases and eliminate the associated dangers," he said.

Mr Kan's predecessor Yukio Hatoyama was forced to step down from his role after reneging on a promise to find an alternative place to house the base.

Hatoyama had been in office for just eight months and was the fourth prime minister Japan has had in as many years.

Written by Kimberley Homer

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