The Rising East: Three Senators Say “No” to U.S.-Japan Okinawa Pact

The long struggle of the United States and Japan to resolve the tangled issue of US military forces posted on the island of Okinawa has had more ups and downs than a roller coaster at Disneyland.

The latest came last week when officials from Washington and Tokyo said they had forged a new agreement under which 9,000 Marines would relocate from Okinawa to Hawaii, Guam, possibly the U.S. mainland and, on rotation, to Australia. Although key issues, like the fate of an airfield in Futenma, were left unsettled, it was a start.

Hardly had the officials uttered their agreement, however, when three powerful U.S. senators, two Democrats and one Republican, bellowed: “NO.” That stopped the new pact in its tracks and left President Obama and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda with serious losses of face before their meeting scheduled for Monday in Washington.

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