US and Japan endorse Okinawa base plan

US and Japanese defence chiefs on Friday renewed their support for a controversial plan to relocate an American base on Japan’s Okinawa island, saying it was the most viable way forward.

After holding talks at an Asia security summit in Singapore, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Japan’s Defence Minister Toshimi Kitazawa issued a joint statement saying "the current relocation plan is the most operationally viable and politically sustainable way forward".

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Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says ‘open’ to Ideas on Japan Base

The head of the US military said Thursday he was open to ideas on resolving a long-running row with Japan over bases after three senators called the two governments’ agreement infeasible.

"I think we need to be as open as we possibly can to solutions now," Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a breakfast with reporters.

Senators Carl Levin, John McCain and Jim Webb last month called for the United States to rethink base realignment plans in East Asia due to political opposition in Japan and cost overruns in both Japan and South Korea.

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