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Okinawa referendum could bring clarity

Writing in the Japan Times, GRM's Director for North Asia, Dr. Robert Eldridge, addresses an earlier-than-expected gubernatorial election in Okinawa Prefecture in the wake of Gov. Takeshi Onaga’s untimely death. He writes that despite the anti-base nature of the group organizing the base relocation referendum, he is in favor of it as it would give the voters of the prefecture their first chance to really vote on the Futenma replacement facility in a way that normal elections do not. The results are expected to be nonbinding, but the draft ordinance requires the governor to “respect” them.

Seawall construction work is underway July 27 for relocating the functions of the U.S. Futenma military base from Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, to the Henoko coastal area of Nago, also in Okinawa. | KYODO

Dr. Eldridge's full article is here.

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