Japan Chair Platform: Time to Acknowledge the Realignment Impasse
January 5, 2012
Japanese foreign minister Koichiro Gemba and U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton recently reaffirmed their countries’ commitment to an agreement to build a Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF) in northern Okinawa and relocate over 8,000 Marines to Guam. Despite this high-level reaffirmation, the agreement is no longer workable. Although the allies are no closer to implementing it than they were the day negotiations began, developments over the past few months have pushed them further from their goal. Tokyo and Washington need to acknowledge that the conditions that were once conducive to implementation no longer exist. Because of the impasse, it is time to temper political rhetoric with reality.