Okinawa Gov. Tamaki Shows Resolve to Block U.S. Base Relocation

Politics

Nago, Okinawa Pref., Dec. 15 (Jiji Press)--Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki showed Saturday his resolve to counter Tokyo's efforts to press ahead with a controversial U.S. military base relocation project in the southernmost Japan prefecture.

It was "intolerable" that the Japanese government started Friday the placement of soil in landfill work off the Henoko coastal district in Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, as part of the relocation project, Tamaki said at a protest rally held in Henoko. "It's an outrage committed by the state."

"I'll stay ready for dialogue but will fight as needed," Tamaki said, suggesting that he is eager to use his authority as governor of Okinawa to block the plan to move the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air base, currently in a densely populated district in Ginowan, Okinawa, to a replacement facility to be built off Henoko.

The relocation plan is based on the 1996 Tokyo-Washington agreement on the return of the Futenma base site to Japan.

The Okinawa government is demanding that the base be moved out of the prefecture.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press