Suga Inspects U.S. Military Port in Okinawa

Politics

Naha, Okinawa Pref., Dec. 22 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga inspected a port used by the U.S. military in Naha, the capital of the southernmost Japan prefecture of Okinawa, on Sunday.

"The area of the port facility is larger than that of Tokyo Disneyland and has a huge potential as a base for local industries and tourism, and as a catalyst to spark Okinawa's economic growth," he told reporters after the visit, underscoring the central government's resolve to realize the early return of the site by stepping up coordination with local officials in Okinawa and the U.S. military.

The 1996 final report from the Special Action Committee on Okinawa of the Japanese and U.S. governments included a plan to transfer the functions of the Naha military port to an area including a pier in the city of Urasoe in the prefecture.

But talks on the matter are still under way, due to gaps in opinions on details about the substitute military port site among the prefecture and the city governments of Naha and Urasoe. Suga also visited the Urasoe pier area on Sunday.

Over the central government's plan to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air station in the Okinawa city of Ginowan to the Henoko coastal district in Nago, another city in the prefecture, a media report has said that the state estimates the period of construction of the main base facility at about 10 years.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press