On May 28, 2010, America and Japan agreed to relocate Marine Corps Air Station Futenma along the lines of the existing plan. According to the Japan Times, the agreement only made things more difficult. There were technical problems with that agreement. In addition, the people of Okinawa did not support the agreement. The State Department tried to justify the agreement by saying that the alliance needed to move on to other issues.
“The bilateral alliance is too important to have it grind to a halt over the Futenma problem,” said Sheila Smith.
In November, Japan will hold the gubernatorial election for Okinawa. U.S. experts believe the outcome of that election will determine whether or not the relocation plan will move forward.
Some officials blamed people like Richard Armitage, Kurt Campbell, and Mike Green for the debacle. They said that America has relied too much on the advice of a small group of Japan experts to deal with issues like Futenma. They believe America needs a new approach using new people to solve the problem.