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Mahathir Says U.S. Bases Raise Tensions In Asia

Friday, May 21, 2010

TOKYO (Nikkei)--Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad, weighing in on the impasse over the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station, said keeping U.S. troops around the globe was an outdated strategy that raises tensions in the Asia-Pacific region.

The presence of U.S. military bases in Japan poses a threat to China, triggering that country's arms buildup, Mahathir said at an international forum on Friday.

If Asian countries enter an arms race, they will waste money they could have been better spent on economic development, he concluded.

His remarks came at the Future of Asia forum sponsored by Nikkei Inc.

Titles of speakers, names of companies, etc., were correct as of the time when the forum was held.