Democratic Congressman Barney Frank to tell the U.S. President his views on the significance of the U.S. Marine Corps in Okinawa

January 26, 2012 Hideki Matsudo of Ryukyu Shimpo reports from Washington D.C.

In the afternoon on January 24, veteran Democratic Congressman Barney Frank, who is an influential politician within the U.S. government, met with members of the “Making Okinawan Voices Heard in America” delegation, including delegation leader Tokushin Yamauchi, a member of the House of Councilors of Japan. Frank said that he thinks that the presence of the U.S. Marine Corps in Okinawa is a hangover from World War II and that there is no longer any need to station them there. When interviewed by the Ryukyu Shimpo, Frank stated that he would also say this to President Barack Obama. He intends to call for the U.S. government and the Congress to consider withdrawing the Marines from Okinawa.

In the media, Frank has stated that removing the Marine Corps from Okinawa is one way that the U.S. government could reduce its budget deficit.

To Yamauchi, who opposes the relocation of Futenma Air Station to Henoko and the Kadena-Futenma integration plan, Frank said that he questions the need to station Marines in Okinawa because World War II ended 67 years ago, and asserts that the U.S. Marines should leave Okinawa. With regard to the U.S. military presence in Okinawa serving as a deterrent, which both the U.S. and Japanese governments claim is the main reason why the Marines are needed in Okinawa, Frank suggested that air and naval forces could deal with any threat from China and said that there is no possibility that Marines would ever be sent to fight on the Chinese mainland.

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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