Okinawa Nights

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ITSUO INOUYE/AP

Okinawan students shout anti-U.S. slogans during a demonstration outside the Kadena Air Base

The action this Thursday night in Okinawa is on the third floor of a building in a candy-colored, open-air mall called the American Village. A pink and blue neon sign shows where everyone's going: 3F, a bar and restaurant with a Southeast Asian theme. A couple hundred people are already there, drawn by $3 cocktails and reggae and hip-hop tunes. It's so crowded that manager Jeff Short has abandoned his tiki-hut office to help behind the bar. The crowd is familiar, mostly female Japanese partyers and U.S. servicemen. Many of the girls dress alike—stiletto heels or sneakers, low-slung capris and halter...