Bilateral discussions on the revision of the 1952 security pact began in 1959 and the new Treaty on Cooperation and Mutual Security was signed in Washington on 19 January 1960. The status of the military agreement under this treaty has also come into force, the rules under which U.S. forces are stationed in Japan with respect to Japanese national laws. To ease tensions, the United States and Japan agreed in 2006 to transfer Futenma to a less populated area of Okinawa and transfer 8,000 marines to Guam. But the agreement has yet to be implemented. Many residents and local officials oppose the maintenance of the Okinawa base and voted against the relocation plan in early 2019. Abe insisted, however, that relocation would take place soon and that some marines could be transferred in the coming years. Hatoyama is in a difficult situation. Its Social Democratic Party partners want the futenma base to leave Japan completely and have threatened to leave the government coalition if the 2006 agreement is implemented. But he needs their support in the House of Lords, at least until July, if an election is to be held. Other opponents of the 2006 agreement say the transfer of the Futenma base to Nago could harm coral reefs off the coast and thus the future of the local tourism industry. The concentration of troops in the small Japanese prefecture of Okinawa is a central theme of the ongoing debate on the U.S. military presence.
U.S. military bases cover about one-fifth of Okinawa and account for about 75% of U.S. forces in Japan (Packard, 2010, Sumida, 2009). This has given many Okinavanis the feeling that the security agreement could be beneficial for the United States and Japan as a whole, but it is painful for the inhabitants of the small subtropical island. [Notice] The conditions governing the organization of the armed forces of the United States of America in and around Japan are set by administrative arrangements between the two governments. In a 2006 agreement between the George W. Bush administration and the Japanese government, MCAS Futenma was to be transferred to the northern city of Nago Okinawa and 8,000 marines and their relatives were to be relocated to Guam (Packard, 2010). However, the agreement received very little support from Okinawans.