- - Thursday, June 4, 2015

Robert Eldridge accuses the supporters of Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga, who was recently in Washington to appeal the Okinawa issue, by saying they do not represent “all Okinawa” at all because “Okinawan public opinion is very much divided” (“The other side to the Okinawa story,” Web, May 31). Sure enough, there is a right-wing fringe group in Okinawa that is viscerally pro-U.S.-military-presence, pro-Henoko-relocation and pro-revisionism. Mr. Eldridge is closely associated with this group. He is even a hero among them.

Mr. Eldridge held a post with the U.S. Marine Corps Okinawa as deputy director for government and external affairs for Marine Corps Installations Command Pacific until very recently, but he is no longer in the post.

A recent public opinion polls conducted jointly by The Ryukyu Shimpo and Okinawa Television have shown that 83 percent of those polled are opposed to the Henoko relocation plan, a solid increase from a previous survey (75 percent) conducted alone by The Ryukyu Shimpo in December 2012. The majority of Okinawans, across all walks of life and ideological, partisan lines, are thus in support of Mr. Onaga’s stance regarding the Futenma issue: Futenma’s replacement cannot be built in Okinawa Prefecture.

The Futenma Air Station sits on mostly private lands illegally confiscated in the early days of the Occupation in violation of international law (Article 46 of the Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land). The United States, therefore, has no right at all to demand Futenma’s replacement be built in Henoko in northern Okinawa, not only with Japanese taxpayers’ money but also by destroying the pristine natural environment on land and at sea. You cannot have your cake and eat it, too.


Okinawa, Japan

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