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Comment posted on CFR blog entry "Prime Minister Hatoyama’s Pursuit of Equity" by Dr. Sheila Smith

It is not clear whether this comment would be approved. It was posted over 24hrs ago but it has not appeared yet on the CFR blog. Regardless of whether my comment is approved or not, I will post a copy here for the record. For Dr. Smith's original article, click the title.

Dr. Smith. I have always respected your work and your sincere attitude and respectful work you have done on the U.S. base issue in Japan and Okinawa people in general. Having said that, I do have to point our your mistake in stating this, "tiny island prefecture that currently hosts 75% – yes, 75% – of the 45,000 or so U.S. military personnel in Japan."

As an expert of your caliber and prominence, you must know well that the number "75%" refers to the land area occupied by the U.S. bases in Okinawa and NOT the number of forces.

Also, in general, in Japan we only count the number of forces (footprint) and not including the dependents as the occupying forces (not meaning in the Cold War sense of "occupation", of course).

I've also noticed that Western media in general counts the force footprint in Japan as you do. But the numbers we obtain from the DoD suggests that the force footprint is less than 40,000 and that's the number our general public is aware of (to be precise, 35,965 according to DoD's Directorate for Information Operations and Reports)

I would suggest that you correct these information, or at least clarify so that a wrong message--that Western experts are not aware of the facts and figures--will NOT be propagated.

Written by Etranger

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