Okinawa

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Disturbing Concern Raised About Land for US Base

Critics fear remains of unaccounted war dead are in soil being used for Okinawa construction

(Newser) - The project is controversial enough: Japan is building a new military base for the US in Okinawa to replace another that's being shut down, and the vast majority of Okinawans oppose the coastal construction, reports Stars and Stripes . In fact, local groups have asked President Biden to reconsider plans...

In Japan, People Do a Weird Thing After a Night of Drinking

Officials worry 'road sleeping' is going to lead to more people getting hurt in Okinawa

(Newser) - There's a strange phenomenon that has overtaken the Okinawa prefecture in Japan, and police can't figure out a way to stop it. "Road sleeping," or rojo-ne in Japanese, seems to be what people like to do there after a night of drinking, and it means that...

Endangered Turtles Are Apparently Stolen From Zoo

They fetch high prices on the black market as pets

(Newser) - Endangered turtles that are in demand on the black market have vanished from a zoo in Japan. Officials assume the 64 turtles were stolen, the AFP reports. "We feed them twice a week, and a keeper noticed their number was clearly low," an official at the Okinawa Zoo...

'Sorrow Beyond Imagination': Japan's Shuri Castle Burns

Okinawa landmark was a World Heritage Site

(Newser) - A castle first built centuries before Okinawa was annexed by Japan has been devastated by fire. Police say a fire that broke out around 2:30am Friday has destroyed much of Shuri Castle, which was erected under the Ryukyu Dynasty around 500 years ago, the Guardian reports. The wooden structure,...

US Sailor, Woman Found Dead in Bloody Bedroom

The killing comes at a time of rising tensions in Okinawa

(Newser) - Tragedy struck Okinawa on Saturday morning when a US Navy sailor apparently used a knife to kill a woman and then take his own life, CNN reports. The bodies were found in a bloody bedroom on the Japanese island. "This is an absolute tragedy and we are fully committed...

After Deadly Crash, US Troops in Japan Banned From Drinking

Police say Marine in Okinawa was 3 times legal limit

(Newser) - US military personnel in Okinawa have been restricted to base and banned from drinking alcohol after a Marine was arrested over a crash that killed a Japanese man. Police on the southern Japanese island arrested 21-year-old Nicholas James-McLean late Sunday on suspicion of negligent driving resulting in injury or death...

Women Lost at Sea Back on Land After 5 Months

'I absolutely understand why certain people fall in love with the sea,' says Jennifer Appel

(Newser) - Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava touched foot on dry land for the first time since May over the weekend, and as they got their land legs back, they thanked those who'd rescued them after five months lost at sea. The women, who endured sharks and storms while drifting in...

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...

Irate With US, Okinawa Stages Massive Protest

Some 65K protest American military presence after rape, killing of local woman

(Newser) - Tens of thousands on Okinawa protested Sunday against the presence of US military bases, reports the AP , many wearing black to mourn the rape and killing of a local woman in which an American contractor is a suspect. The rally called for a review of the US-Japanese security agreement, which...

Navy Bans Booze for All Personnel in Japan

Okinawa crash was the last straw

(Newser) - The US Navy banned drinking and restricted off-base activity Monday for all 18,600 of its personnel in Japan after a sailor was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving on the island of Okinawa, the AP reports. In the latest incident to spark public anger in Japan, Petty Officer 2nd...

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...

Japan Busts Guy in Threats Against Caroline Kennedy

Mitsuyoshi Kamiya also called in bomb threat on US Embassy

(Newser) - Japanese police have arrested a man for allegedly making bomb threats against the US Embassy in Tokyo, and say he is also a possible suspect in death threats against Ambassador Caroline Kennedy. Public broadcaster NHK said today that Tokyo police arrested Mitsuyoshi Kamiya, a resident of the southern island of...

Twin Storms Pound Asia
 Twin Storms Pound Asia 

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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