Okinawa Eyes Base Relocation Referendum on Feb. 24

Society Politics

Naha, Okinawa Pref., Nov. 27 (Jiji Press)--Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki said Tuesday that the southern Japan prefecture will hold a referendum on Feb. 24 next year on whether to approve the relocation of a key U.S. Marine base within the prefecture.

Through the referendum, Tamaki hopes to add momentum for blocking the relocation of the Marine Corps' Futenma air station from Ginowan to the Henoko coastal district in Nago, at a time when the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe aims to start landfill work off Henoko by the end of the year.

"It'll be a significant opportunity to directly display the will of people in the prefecture," the governor told reporters at the prefectural government office in Naha on Tuesday.

The prefectural referendum will have no binding force, but the governor is required to "respect" any result backed by at least a quarter of all eligible voters.

The focus is on whether Tamaki can obtain cooperation from all municipal governments, as they are to take on the clerical work.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press