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Okinawa governor urges U.S. to reduce base 'burden'

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - 00:45

Feb. 12 - Governor of Japan's southern Okinawa Prefecture urges U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy to help reduce the ''burden'' of controversial U.S. military bases. Rough Cut (No Reporter Narration),

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: The governor of Japan's southern Okinawa Prefecture on Wednesday (February 12) urged the U.S. to reduce the burden of its controversial military bases on the region's main island. Many local residents associate the concentration of U.S. bases on Okinawa island with accidents, pollution and crime such as the 1995 rape of a Japanese schoolgirl by three U.S. servicemen. A plan backed by Washington and Tokyo would see a Marine Corps base in Futenma moved some 50 km (30 miles) north to Henoko, which activists say will destroy an area home to the endangered marine mammal, dugong. On Wednesday, Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima sat down with the newly-appointed U.S. ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, to call for her support in resolving the issues. "There have been many incidents, accidents and environmental problems associated with the bases, and I would call on Ambassador Kennedy to do everything in her power to help bring about a complete resolution to these issues and reduce the burden on Okinawa of U.S. military bases," Nakaima said. Delays in relocating the U.S. Marines' Futenma air base, a move first agreed between Tokyo and Washington in 1996, have long been an irritant in U.S.-Japan ties. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is keen to make progress on the project as he seeks tighter ties with the United States in the face of an assertive China.

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Okinawa governor urges U.S. to reduce base 'burden'

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - 00:45