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Minister calls for SOFA revision

Date Posted: 2006-07-28

Okinawa Minister Yuriko Koike wants base management rights now in the hands of American military forces transferred to Japan.

Nobody is sure exactly whyKoike is taking the stance, since the military issue is outside her jurisdiction. She wants to see control of the U.S. bases unified and stabilized under Japanese control.

To accomplish her goals, Koike is calling for a revision to the Status of Forces Agreement, which assigned management rights to the Americans. The SOFA’s Article 3, Paragraph 3, says “Operations in the facilities and areas in use by U.S. forces shall be carried on with due regard for the public safety,” something Koike is questioning. She says her actions are not “anti-US”, but rather, “anti-bases.” The SOFA would have to be revised to modify the base management rights clause.

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