Okinawa to Hold Base Relocation Referendum

Society Politics

Naha, Okinawa Pref., Oct. 26 (Jiji Press)--The Okinawa prefectural assembly enacted on Friday an ordinance to hold a referendum on whether or not to approve the relocation of a key U.S. base within the southern Japan prefecture.

The referendum will take place by next spring, as the ordinance stipulates the poll be held within six months of its issuance.

The ordinance was voted for by a majority of members of the assembly controlled by the Social Democratic Party, the Japanese Communist Party and other parties pitting themselves against the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito, which form a ruling coalition in the national politics.

In the referendum, voters will be asked if they approve or disapprove the construction in the Henoko coastal district of Nago a replacement facility for the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air station in Ginowan, another city in Okinawa.

The voting result is not binding, but the Okinawa governor must respect it if the number of ballots casted for or against the base relocation, whichever is larger, reaches a quarter of the total number of eligible voters.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press