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SECURITY > Okinawa

Okinawa Governor Tamaki calls for SOFA revision

Monday’s Okinawa Times front-paged an interview with Okinawa Governor Tamaki regarding the 60th anniversary of the effectuation of the SOFA. He stressed the “absolute necessity” to amend the statute governing the status of U.S. military personnel in Japan in order to find “fundamental solutions” for issues caused by the presence of U.S. military bases, such as crime, misconduct, accidents, and environmental pollution. He was quoted as saying: “There is absolutely no other way than a thorough SOFA review to fundamentally resolve base-related problems…. This is a matter of national sovereignty.” The governor noted that neither improving the administration of the SOFA nor concluding supplementary pacts will be sufficient to resolve these outstanding issues. The Okinawa chief reportedly took issue with the U.S.-Japan Joint Committee on the grounds that its decision-making mechanism is not subject to public scrutiny. “It is a mechanism that prioritizes U.S. military thinking over the people’s lives,” he said.

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