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Latest offense in Okinawa dumps cold water on festive mood for U.S.-Japan relations

  • May 20, 2016
  • , Asahi, Mainichi, Yomiuri, Nikkei, Sankei, Tokyo
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All papers wrote that the latest incident took place at the “worst possible time,” as the bilateral relations were improving ahead of President Obama’s tour of Hiroshima. The papers projected that PM Abe may have no choice but to address the incident when he meets with President Obama on the sidelines of the G7 Ise-Shima Summit. Sankei quoted an unnamed senior GOJ official as saying: “The President’s itinerary in Japan may begin with an apology over this incident.” The GOJ is extremely concerned that the incident may have adverse effects on Futenma relocation and the Okinawa prefectural assembly election in June and the Upper House race in July. Asahi said the court-brokered dialogue on the FRF construction between Okinawa and the central government may be disrupted, with an LDP source saying: “Years-long efforts [to move forward with the present relocation plan] may come to nothing.”  Mainichi projected that the latest crime by a U.S. military community member may reignite the national debate on the need to seek revisions to the SOFA. 

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