As expected, from the way that the Japanese media interpreted Defense Ministry Okinawa Tanaka Satoshi's off-the-record gross comment (the Mainichi Shimbun's English version euphemistically refers to it as "indiscreet" (E)) Defense Minister Ichikawa Yasuo had no choice but to relieve Tanaka of his duties (E). Tanaka now claims that he cannot remember using the loaded term "okasu" in offering an explanation why there has been no announcement of the date of the release of the environmental impact report on the building of a Futenma Replacement Facility at Henoko (J).
As for the tenuous entente the Noda government was trying to establish with Okinawa Governor Nakaima Hirokazu (E) over the move of elements of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to Henoko, it is now in tatters. "Moving Futenma is now impossible, isn't it?" the Mainichi Shimbun has a senior Ministry of Defense official saying (J).
Over in Washington, DC, the Japan Desks at the State Department and the Defense Department must be, shall we say, "perturbed" over the events of the last two days.
3 hours ago