Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Subsidies to Okinawa District Could Ease V-22 Protests
Japan is arranging to give subsidies to communities around a planned U.S. air base on Okinawa that is the subject of longstanding protests, Stars & Stripes reported. The U.S. military newspaper said subsidies are common for communities on the island of 1.4 million. The island is also home to the largest share of U.S. forces in Japan. But the new subsidies are "going directly to smaller communities around Camp Schwab.” U.S. and Japanese officials want that base to be the new home for units, U.S. Marine Corps Bell Boeing MV-22s and other aircraft now operating from Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, about 30 mi southwest of the post in Henoko. The expansion at Camp Schwab would include two 4,000-ft runways. In addition to Henoko, Toyohara and Kushi are to receive up to 13 million yen ($106,000) each this fiscal year from Japan’s defense budget. The money will “help preserve the living environment and stability of the residents’ lifestyle and reduce the effects of the U.S. military realignment,” Defense Minister Gen Nakatani told reporters Nov. 27. Japan’s central government is suing Okinawa’s governor, who wants the base to be moved from the island entirely.