Okinawa

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US Returns 10K Acres on Okinawa, Activists Shrug

The olive branch wasn't enough

(Newser) - The US has returned 9,909 acres of land on the island of Okinawa to Japan in what the New York Times calls the "the largest transfer of land" since the US officially returned the island to Japan in 1972. In exchange, Japan has built six helipads to be... More »

American Contractor Arrested in Japanese Woman's Death

The arrest has increased tensions between the US military and Japan

(Newser) - An American contractor working on a US military base in Japan was arrested Thursday in connection with the death of a 20-year-old Japanese woman, the Washington Post reports. According to the AP , 32-year-old Kenneth Gadson told Japanese police where they could find the woman's body. Rina Shimbukuro had been... More »

Twin Storms Pound Asia

Japan facing 2nd typhoon in a week; at least 6 dead in Indian cyclone

(Newser) - Japan is facing down its second major typhoon in the space of a week, with at least 35 people reported injured as Typhoon Vongfong hit its southern island of Okinawa with heavy rain and winds gusting up to 110mph. The storm was headed next to Kyushu island, where officials have... More »

US Airmen Swept to Sea Were Taking Pictures

2 of them still missing in typhoon's wake

(Newser) - The story of the three American airmen swept out to sea as Typhoon Phanfone pummeled Okinawa yesterday carries this coda: They "were taking pictures with high waves whipped up by the typhoon in the background," a local police rep tells AFP. They were apparently part of a group... More »

3 US Airmen Swept Out to Sea in Japan

1 dead; search under way off coast of Okinawa

(Newser) - The US military is searching for two of three airmen who were swept out to sea today off the coast of Okinawa as Typhoon Phanfone bore down on Japan. One of the three was found dead. They had been on Okinawa island's northern coast when they were overcome by... More »

17 Years Later, Okinawa OKs Relocation of US Base

And locals aren't too happy about it

(Newser) - As the AFP reports, it's been "a decades-long source of friction" between Japan and the US: More than 17 years ago, Tokyo and Washington decided to move the US Marine Corps base in Futenma out of the densely populated urban area. Today, the governor of Okinawa finally gave... More »

Found on US Base in Japan: Decayed Corpse

Gender, date of death unclear

(Newser) - A corpse discovered at a US military camp in Okinawa, Japan is decayed "beyond recognition"—to the point where officials can't tell if it was male or female, nor do they know when the death occurred. What they do know is that the corpse appears to have... More »

Japan Wants US Choppers Grounded After Crash

Remains found near crash site

(Newser) - Japan is calling on Washington to stop flying its HH-60 helicopters in the wake of yesterday's crash in Okinawa . "We have asked the US not to fly the same aircraft until they find out the cause of the accident and take preventive steps," says defense minister Itsunori... More »

Helicopter Crashes on US Base in Japan

One crew member injured: report

(Newser) - A US military helicopter crashed today on the Japanese island of Okinawa, and Japan's defense minister says three of those in the chopper ejected themselves to safety while one was injured and hospitalized. No locals were hurt in the crash at US Marine Camp Hansen, though Reuters notes that... More »

Okinawa Dragged Into China-Japan Island Battle

Newspaper calls for 'reconsideration' of Ryukyu islands' ownership

(Newser) - China and Japan are already locked in a territorial dispute over one group of Japanese-controlled islands—the Senkakus—and now the Middle Kingdom appears to be eying another. An editorial published today in the People's Daily newspaper, widely considered a Chinese government mouthpiece, calls for a "reconsideration" of... More »

2 US Sailors Found Guilty in Japan Rape

Christopher Browning sentenced to decade in prison

(Newser) - A Japanese court today convicted a pair of US Navy sailors in the rape and robbery of a young woman in an Okinawa parking lot, the AP reports. Seaman Christopher Browning, 24, accused of robbery after the rape, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, while Petty Officer 3rd Class... More »

Japan Ready to Destroy N. Korea Rocket

Patriot missiles prepared in Tokyo, on coasts

(Newser) - If, after its firing, any piece of North Korea's rocket appears likely to fall in Japanese territory, Tokyo is ready to shoot it from the sky. Patriot missiles are at the ready in Tokyo, Okinawa, and elsewhere on Japan's north and west coasts, the Telegraph reports. Japan has... More »

US Serviceman Breaks Into Home, Punches Teen: Japan

Pentagon has another Okinawa controversy

(Newser) - In yet another incident unlikely to endear the people of Okinawa to the US presence there, a drunken US serviceman broke into an apartment building on the island and punched a 13-year-old boy in the face in the wee hours this morning, Japanese authorities alleged today. Police say the man... More »

US Sailor Admits Rape: Japan Police

Tensions already high over American aircraft deployment

(Newser) - A US sailor has confessed to rape, Japanese police say, after he and a fellow sailor were arrested early yesterday on the southern island of Okinawa. Seaman Christopher Browning and Petty Officer 3rd Class Skyler Dozierwalker were arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting and robbing a 27-year-old local woman, who... More »

US Grounds F-16 Squadron After Japan Crash

With Japanese worried over fighter safety, US looks to reassure

(Newser) - The entire F-16 squadron has been grounded for safety checks following a crash of one of the jets off Japan yesterday, reports AP . The fighter craft crashed while flying to Alaska Sunday morning, falling into the ocean 250 miles from the coast of Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost main island. The... More »

US Yanks Almost Half of Okinawa Marines

Because Japan doesn't want them there

(Newser) - The US military has worn out its welcome in Japan, so the two countries today announced an agreement to pull about 9,000 Marines from the Okinawa base, redeploying them in other places in the Asia-Pacific region, like Hawaii and the US territory of Guam. Japan has grown increasingly restless... More »

Japanese PM Quits Over Okinawa Base

Hatoyama cites failure to move US base as reason for resigning

(Newser) - Japan's Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama is stepping down after just 8 months in office. Hatoyama—whose plunging approval ratings ahead of an election expected to be held in July put him under intense pressure from his Democratic Party of Japan to step down—said he was quitting because of a... More »

7.3 Quake Rattles Japan; Tsunami Warning Lifted

Temblor strikes Okinawa; no major damage reported

(Newser) - A tsunami warning has been lifted and residents of Okinawa are breathing a sigh of relief after an earthquake rattled the southern Japanese island early Saturday morning. " First there was a strong vertical shake, then sideways," an official of the city of Naha tells Reuters . "The strong... More »

Okinawa Marine Gets 4 Years for Teen Sex Abuse

US court martial accepts his plea to lesser charges

(Newser) - The US marine accused of raping a 14-year-old Japanese girl was sentenced by court martial today to four years in prison, after pleading guilty to abusive sexual conduct, Reuters reports. The other charges against 38-year-old Sgt. Tyrone Hadnott, including rape and kidnapping, were dropped. With his plea deal, Hadnott will... More »

US Charges Marine With Okinawa Rape

Military does own investigation after Japan drops charges

(Newser) - The US military has charged a Marine with rape of a child, adultery, and kidnapping after an assault on a 14-year-old girl in Okinawa, CNN reports. Japanese officials had released the Marine earlier this year after the girl, apparently not wanting to be in the public eye, dropped the allegations.... More »

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