Okinawa Gov. Resolved to Block Base Relocation by Dialogue


Naha, Okinawa Pref., Oct. 4 (Jiji Press)--Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki stressed on Friday, which marked his one year in office, his resolve to block the relocation of a U.S. base within the southernmost Japan prefecture through dialogue with the central government.

In a joint interview at the prefectural office in Naha, Tamaki expressed hope to establish a new committee to be joined by prefectural representatives and called "SACO with Okinawa," by reviving the Special Action Committee on Okinawa, or SACO, set up by the Japanese and U.S. governments in 1996 for the transfer of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air station.

Through the new committee, Tamaki aims to change the plan, based on a Japan-U.S. agreement, to relocate the Futenma air station in Ginowan to the Henoko coastal area in Nago. He demands the base be taken out of Okinawa altogether.

"I wonder whether there should be public work that is promoted without winning the understanding of local residents even if diplomacy and security are the country's prerogatives," Tamaki said.

His remark came after over 70 pct of voters who took part in a prefectural referendum in February opposed the relocation plan.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press