[PAST EVENT] Okinawa & the US Military Base Issues: Past, Present & Future

October 28, 2021
5pm - 6pm
ZOOM: preregister at Contact Information, below

The Okinawa Prefectural Government understands that Japan-U.S. relations, including the bilateral security alliance, have contributed greatly to Japan’s national security, as well as to the peace and stability in East Asia. Meanwhile, Okinawa has played a disproportionately large role in upholding the alliance by hosting many U.S. military facilities. While Okinawa accounts for only 0.6 percent of the entire land area of Japan, more than 70 percent of the military facilities exclusively used by U.S. forces in Japan (including Kadena Air Base) are concentrated on Okinawa. This has led to numerous difficulties for the people of Okinawa since the end of World War II. These issues include military aircraft noise and accidents, crimes committed by U.S. service members, and environmental pollution by toxic substances such as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The people of Okinawa have requested the governments of both Japan and the United States to address these issues.

Mr. Satoshi Uechi, Director, Okinawa Prefecture Washington D.C. Office, assumed his current position in April 2020. For the past 33 years, he has worked on program planning and execution for the Okinawa Prefectural Government in the fields of peace education, trade, science & technology, sports, and culture. Before coming to Washington D.C., he was responsible for leading the organization of lectures for prefectural government officials. As Director of the Okinawa Prefecture Washington D.C. Office, Mr. Uechi seeks to promote various discussions between Okinawa and the United States. He is currently focused on sharing information and holding meetings on the U.S. military base issues in Okinawa with members of Congress, policy officials from the Department of Defense and the Department of State, and scholars and students from U.S. think tanks and universities. The key topics that he covers include the issues surrounding the Futenma Replacement Facility, the leakage of PFAS (Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances) chemicals from the U.S. bases in Okinawa, and other incidents and accidents related to the U.S. military in Okinawa.