U.S. Reacts Calmly to Anti-Base Candidate's Okinawa Election Win

Politics

Washington, Sept. 30 (Jiji Press)--A U.S. Department of State official on Sunday reacted calmly to the victory of a candidate opposing the planned relocation of a key U.S. military base within Okinawa Prefecture in the day's gubernatorial election in the southernmost Japan prefecture.

The U.S. government deeply respects the contributions Okinawa has made to the U.S.-Japan alliance, the official said, while congratulating Denny Tamaki, a former member of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Japan's parliament, on his winning the election.

In the poll, Tamaki beat a candidate backed by Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its Komeito ally, and two other candidates.

In the prefecture, candidates backed by the ruling bloc won the mayoral elections in the city of Nago in February and the city of Okinawa in April, leading some U.S. critics to think that the "All Okinawa" campaign against the base relocation, led by the late former Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga, is starting to hit a snag.

Under the plan agreed between the Japanese and U.S. governments, the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air station in Ginowan, Okinawa, is set to be relocated to the Henoko coastal district in Nago, another city in the prefecture.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press