Tobias Harris authors Wall Street Journal commentary
on the US-Japan alliance      


Okinawa Upset

Excerpt from The Wall Street Journal | January 25, 2010
Tobias Harris is a doctoral student in the MIT Department of Political Science.

A silver lining...the potential to build a better alliance

"This year marks the 50th anniversary of the US-Japan alliance, but an election in the tiny city of Nago, Okinawa (population 59,742) may have unsettled the relationship. Nago is home to Camp Schwab, a Marine camp that is scheduled to be the site of a new American air base under the terms of a military realignment program agreed on by Japan and the United States in 2006. On Sunday, Nago elected a new mayor, Susumu Inamine, who opposes that plan. His victory has been interpreted as a victory for opponents of the 2006 agreement...

There is a silver lining here. Insofar as the Nago election makes the rejection of the 2006 roadmap more likely, this presents an opportunity for both Washington and Tokyo to step back and reconsider how the alliance should function and how it should be sold to the Japanese people in Japan's new democracy. The age when the alliance could be managed by bureaucrats and experts from both countries has passed."

Full commentary at the Wall Street Journal


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