Okinawa Governor Presses Abe to Give Up Henoko Base Construction


Tokyo, March 1 (Jiji Press)--Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki pressed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in person on Friday to give up a controversial plan to relocate a U.S. military base within the southern Japan prefecture, after Okinawa voters rejected it in a recent referendum.

"The directly shown will of the people has greater weight than anything else and must be respected," Tamaki said to Abe when he visited the prime minister's office in Tokyo to convey the voting results.

"I want you to go ahead and accept the thinking of people in Okinawa, moving immediately to stop the construction work," the governor said of the relocation plan.

More than 70 pct of voters who cast ballots in the referendum on Sunday opposed the central government's plan to move the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air base, now in Ginowan, Okinawa, to a replacement facility to be built in the Henoko coastal area of Nago in the same prefecture. The plan is based on a Japan-U.S. agreement.

Okinawa Prefecture has been demanding that the Futenma base be moved out of the prefecture.

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Jiji Press