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In an effort to shore up Japanese public support for the controversial Futenma air base in Okinawa Japan, the Marines are launching a PR blitz which argues, in effect, that the Japanese are incapable of weighing the strategic grounds of the Japanese-U.S. partnership:

Lt. Gen. Keith J. Stalder, Commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific, said in an interview that while the Japanese are well aware of the direct military threat of North Korea missiles, they may not fully share the U.S. view of the broader "regional threat" that could undermine their nation's trade and economic activities.

To reach out more directly to the Japanese public, he said, the Marine Corps will roll out Japanese-language sites for the Web and cellphonesâ??the preferred mode of information gathering for many Japanese.

"I think one of the things missing in the appreciation of regional security in the Pacific is an understanding how connected all these countries are, economically, financially and in other ways," Lt. Gen. Stalder said during his visit to Tokyo. "There is nothing that happens in the region that will not affect Japan in a very negative way if it's not contained quickly or prevented."

Is it possible that the Japanese are capable of understanding that and still don't want the air base? I'm not sure why the presumption is that they can't grasp their regional environment better than we can....

(AP Photo)