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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 May 10 - 16  > More than 70% of Okinawans: Heavy concentration of US bases is ‘unfair’
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2017 May 10 - 16 [POLITICS]

More than 70% of Okinawans: Heavy concentration of US bases is ‘unfair’

May 10, 2017
The heavy concentration of U.S. military facilities in Okinawa is “unfair”, according to the responses of more than 70% of Okinawans in an opinion survey conducted in the run up to the 45th anniversary of Okinawa’s reversion to Japan on May 15.

The survey results were published on May 9 by Okinawa’s major local daily Ryukyu Shimpo.

In the survey, regarding the prefecture’s return to Japan, the percentage of those who welcomed the return stood at 75.5%.

Common answers to a question about “good points of the reversion” were that more people and information come from mainland Japan (50.5%) and that roads, bridges, ports and other local infrastructure have been improved (50%). The most common answer to a question about “bad points” was that U.S. military bases are imposing further hardships on local people (47.3%). In addition, more than 70% of the respondents regarded the current situation in which U.S. bases are concentrated in Okinawa as “unfair”.

Regarding the U.S. Futenma base issue, 74.1% said that the base should be removed immediately or be relocated outside Japan instead of constructing an alternative facility at Nago’s Henoko district.

In response to a question about the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement, 43.3% of the respondents demanded a fundamental revision of the SOFA while 25.8% called for the improvement of the SOFA. Regarding the same question, 17.1% answered that the agreement should be abrogated together with the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and 8.4% preferred the status quo.

The survey shows Governor Onaga Takeshi’s approval rating at 66.7% and his disapproval rating at 19.3%.
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