Did you get invited to the party? Me neither. Hope the food was good. Better eat that tuna before it become politically incorrect.
The NIKKEI reported on March 2 that Parliamentary Secretary of Defense Akihisa Nagashima gave a talk at a party he held in Tokyo on the 1st.. With respect to where to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa, Nagashima emphatically said: "The continued presence of U.S. Marines in Okinawa is linked to the foundation of Japan's security."
The next day Bloomberg had Aki announcing that a decision on Futenma had been reached. It is startlingly close to the very original plan from way back in the 1990s. A heliport will be built inland at Camp Schwab. But was that his job to speak up? Surely, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano must be getting tired of telling this guy to "zip it."
Has this guy any sense of shame, protocol, or place? Why hasn't he been fired yet? The best I can figure is that Aki is going to take the fall for whatever goes wrong--along with the rest of the Alliance Managers. After all, he is best buddies with all the folks that devised and delayed the current crappy plan to stick a air field out into a pristine bay on a typhoon- and earthquake-prone island.
His declaration is not exactly news. There was never any doubt that the Futenma relocation would be any other place than Okinawa.
If there will be a surprise, it will be the swiftness at which the relocation will happen. The LDP talked a bit game of enhancing Japan's security and furthering US-Japan cooperation, but did little to move it along. They were masters of delay and keeping the barbarians at the gate. The DPJ's take-away from all this, is a recognition that any decision on Futenma would need to move quickly to appease the antsy Americans.