Okinawa Chief Tells U.S. Envoy of Base Transfer Opposition


Tokyo, Oct. 31 (Jiji Press)--Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki on Wednesday explained to U.S. Ambassador to Japan William Hagerty the southern Japan prefecture's objection to the planned relocation of a key U.S. base within the prefecture.

The meeting with Hagerty, which took place at the envoy's official residence in Tokyo, was the first for Tamaki since the governor assumed the post.

Tamaki emphasized the importance of the Futenma issue. In response, Hagerty said that the United States is aware about it.

Earlier on Wednesday, Tamaki criticized Japanese land minister Keiichi Ishii's decision on Tuesday to suspend Okinawa Prefecture's withdrawal of its approval for landfill work at the Henoko coastal area in Nago, Okinawa, for building a new facility to take over the functions of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air station, now in a densely populated area in Ginowan, another city in Okinawa.

The decision "will violate local residents' wish shown in the Okinawa gubernatorial election" on Sept. 30, Tamaki told a press conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo.

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Jiji Press