The Japanese Government has until the end of May 2010 to decide where to relocate the Marine Corps Air Station Futemma. Under an existing agreement with the United States signed in 2006 the U. S. military air station would be moved from the highly populated area of Ginowan in Okinawa to the northern Okinawan US Marine Camp Schwab in Nago.

The existing agreement is estimated to cost approximately 10.3 billion US dollars and would see 8,000 of the 20,000 US troops currently stationed in Japan’s southernmost prefecture relocated from Okinawa to the US island of Guam, by 2014.

Below is a brief background on the history of Okinawa, the U.S. military presence and resentment by some of the local populace as reported by an Australian news program in 1996. Judge for yourself if things have improved.:

To understand the issues behind the protests, check out the video below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DFiikvR1lU&NR=1

You can view the April 24, 2010 protest below and the story in Japanese via the Ryukyu Shimpo.:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SQ-rTkoQSE

And for a “tourist’s” view of Okinawa, check out the website Stray Compass . A video on the U.S. Military and life in Okinawa is shown below: