INTERVIEW: New Japanese Defense Chief Vows Early Okinawa Base Relocation


Tokyo, Oct. 6 (Jiji Press)--New Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya has expressed his resolve to realize the planned relocation of a U.S. military base in Okinawa Prefecture at an early date, despite tensions between the government and the southern prefecture over the issue.

"Dangers from Futenma must be removed," Iwaya stressed during an interview with Jiji Press and other news organizations on Thursday, referring to the U.S. Marine Corps' air station currently located in a densely populated area in Ginowan.

"The government and Okinawa share this recognition," the minister noted.

"The government remains committed to relocating the Futenma base to Henoko promptly and realizing the return of the site (to Okinawa)," Iwaya stressed.

In the prefecture, former opposition lawmaker Denny Tamaki, who is opposed to the government's plan to relocate the Futenma base to Henoko, a coastal area in the Okinawa city of Nago, was elected new governor on Sunday.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press