Japan Govt, Okinawa at Odds over U.S. Base Relocation Plan


Naha, Okinawa Pref., Nov. 10 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya and Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki were at odds over a planned U.S. base relocation within the southernmost prefecture of Okinawa when they met on Saturday.

At their meeting at the prefectural office in the Okinawa capital of Naha, Tamaki called on Iwaya not to stick with the fixed opinion that Henoko is "the only solution," which the governor claims has been held for 20 years. He urged Iwaya to abandon the construction of a new base that "cannot obtain Okinawa people's understanding."

The Japanese government is proceeding with the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air station, located in a congested area in Ginowan, to the Henoko coastal district in Nago. Led by Tamaki, the Okinawa government is opposing the relocation and demanding that the base be moved out of Okinawa.

Tamaki also handed in a proposal calling for the removal of MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor transport aircraft deployed at the Futenma base and a drastic reform of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces agreement, which governs the U.S. troops stationed in Japan.

In reply, Iwaya stressed the central government's plan of adhering to the relocation.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press