Japanese think tank argues for moving Marines off Okinawa

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A Marine waits to guide MV-22 Ospreys with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, during their takeoff from Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa, last April. (JESSICA COLLINS/U.S. MARINE CORP)
From Stripes.com
A Marine waits to guide MV-22 Ospreys with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, during their takeoff from Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa, last April. (JESSICA COLLINS/U.S. MARINE CORP)

Japanese think tank argues for moving Marines off Okinawa

by: Erik Slavin | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: February 25, 2017

TOKYO — The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit could leave Okinawa without sacrificing its value as a security provider in the Asia-Pacific, a Japanese think tank said following a study of alternatives to building a new runway opposed by the island’s governor.

It’s a point of view speakers from the New Diplomacy Initiative, a Tokyo-based think tank, conceded wasn’t likely to sway the security establishment, during a press conference Friday.

However, the academics, journalists and a former government defense official argued that plans to build a new runway for Marine aircraft are so unpopular on Okinawa that they risk straining the broader U.S.-Japan security agreement.

Earlier this month, Defense Secretary J