Japan PM close to deal on controversial U.S. base on Okinawa

December 25, 2013 10:02 AM

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Japan PM close to deal on controversial U.S. base on Okinawa

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday moved close to winning approval from the island of Okinawa on a replacement for a U.S. air base, a move that would resolve a nearly 20-year-old deadlock that has strained ties with Washington.

A deal with officials in Okinawa would be an achievement for Abe, who has promised a more assertive Japanese military at a time when the U.S.-Japan security alliance has been tested by tension with China over disputed islands in the Pacific.

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