Faced with their first major change in governance since World War 2, Japan’s new Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) ruled government is seeking to relieve long-standing grievances regarding the massive US military presence.
But the US ruled out holding any negotiations with the new government regarding its 60+ year long military presence, insisting they made all the agreements they need with the outgoing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).
The DPJ is reportedly playing hardball now, however, threatening to kick the US military off the island of Okinawa, which is where the bulk of their presence is situated. The islanders have long complained about the major burden of tens of thousands of US soldiers occupying a large chunk of their island.
The LDP’s solution was to pay the US billions of dollars to relocate one of their bases. The DPJ however insists that if the US wants a sustainable alliance with Japan it will return to the bargaining table, and soon.