Former Soviet leader weighs in on Okinawa base-relocation issue
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev is backing Okinawa’s fervent anti-base movement, according to the southern island prefecture’s oldest daily newspaper.
A recent report in the Ryukyu Shimpo — widely seen as having an anti-U.S. military slant — said the Nobel laureate sent a written message to the publication late last month that was addressed to the people of Okinawa.
The message from Gorbachev, who led the Soviet Union until its dissolution in 1991, was not printed in its entirety and could not be independently verified. However, a summary published by the newspaper promoted nuclear disarmament and showed support for protesters fighting the relocation of air operations from Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to Camp Schwab.
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