East Asia

Japan to proceed with relocation of US base

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the relocation of the US airbase at Futenma to Henoko, elsewhere on the island of Okinawa, would continue despite a referendum vote opposing the move. Okinawa prefecture held a referendum vote on whether the US military base should relocate from Ginowan municipality to Henoko. After the final count, approximately 70% of voters opposed the move. The relocation has been 20 years in preparation, and has continued to face opposition over claims of noise from military activity, harm to the surrounding coral reefs, and outrage over a 1995 incident of rape of a 12-year-old Okinawan girl by US servicemen. Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki plans to make a visit to Tokyo to reaffirm the island's position. (Photo via Alwaght)


Korea nuclear crisis spurs Guam independence bid

Amid all the hype over North Korea’s threats to fire a nuclear missile at Guam, just a few media accounts have made note of how Guamians themselves are reacting. Guam is usually seen in the US only as a strategic Pentagon outpost. But with a referendum on independence in the offing, growing sentiment on the island holds that the only thing Guamians are getting out of their current US territorial status is being made a nuclear target.

East Asia

East China Sea gets scary —again

A near confrontation between Chinese and US aircraft over disputed East China Sea gasfields comes amid major joint US-Japanese naval maneuvers off Okinawa.

East Asia

Meanwhile: Seoul-Tokyo tensions mount…

The crisis between North and South Korea has overshadowed growing tensions between both Koreas and Japan, which has seen an ugly wave of anti-Korean protests.

East Asia

Japan, Taiwan ships clash with water cannon

Japanese and Taiwanese patrol ships blasted each other with water cannon as a fishing fleet from Taiwan mobilized a protest flotilla to the contested East China Sea islands.

East Asia

East China Sea flashpoint for Sino-Japanese war?

Leon Panetta warned that the latest escalation over islands disputed by China and Japan could lead to war—even as he arrived in Tokyo to inaugurate a new anti-missile system.

East Asia

Okinawa protesters score win over Pentagon

A protest campaign on Okinawa has won a commitment from the Pentagon and Japanese government to delay deployment of Osprey aircraft to the island pending further study.