U.S.-Japan security pact turns 50, facing new strains


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Tokyo was alarmed in April when a Chinese helicopter came within 90 meters of a Japanese military monitoring vessel in the vicinity of a Chinese naval exercise. That same month, Chinese ships were also spotted in international waters off Okinawa.

Lame excuse. Everyone has a right to be in international waters! Idiots. They just couldn't say "no" to the US so they felt they could hype this incident up as an excuse to turn on the Okinawans and not fight for what they believed and campaigned in because the US wouldn't meet with them. If the incident happened and even if it happened in Japanese waters, and the US agreed to move Futenma and all the Marines out of Okinawa, the DPJ would have be delighted and discounted the "incident". It was a face saving excuse for caving in to US pressure.

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And yes, Japan should strengthen their ties to their Asian neighbors - China and South Korea as the DPJ, at least during the Hatoyama period, pledged and emphasized. They don't have to cut ties with the US but it's time to be genuinely on equal footing with the them which means they can disagree if it doesn't benefit Japan.

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