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    101 East - Okinawa: The future of US military bases

    Al Jazeera English

    by Al Jazeera English

    Almost 50,000 US military personnel are stationed in Japan, more than half on the island of Okinawa.But their presence has often been controversial. The Okinawa base is vital to the US in protecting its interests in Asia. But it is also important to Yukio Hatoyama, Japan's prime minister, whose popularity is plummeting in the polls and who badly needs to win a majority in the parliament's upper house elections in July.