Peace Time: December 1, 2001


A special committee of officials from the Japanese central government and Okinawa has picked one of three plans to build a new 2,600 meter Marine Corps runway near Okinawa. They selected the plan to build the runway two kilometers off shore, since this was the best compromise between noise reduction and cost. (Closer to shore would cost less but create more noise; farther out would eliminate noise but cost too much.) Cost estimates vary from $1.5 billion to $3 billion. The battle is not over; many on Okinawa still want all of the Americans gone as quickly as possible with no new construction that would keep them there longer. Environmental groups oppose any offshore construction as it disrupts the seabed.--Stephen V Cole




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