Kono Emphasizes Speed in Vitalizing Okinawa


Naha, Okinawa Pref., Sept. 19 (Jiji Press)--Taro Kono, Japan's new minister in charge of Okinawa affairs, stressed the need to have a sense of speed in vitalizing the southernmost Japan prefecture, in talks with Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki on Saturday.

Meeting the governor at the prefectural government's office building in Naha, the capital of Okinawa, Kono also said, "We must work together to further heighten the prefecture's advantage of being located close to other Asian nations."

Tamaki said that the people of Okinawa have shown their opposition to the central government's plan to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air station in Ginowan, Okinawa, to the Henoko coastal district in Nago, another city in Okinawa, through the 2018 gubernatorial election and a prefectural referendum conducted last year.

"We want the central government to respond sincerely to dialogue with Okinawa" on the base relocation issue, the governor said.

Kono did not go beyond saying that he will make an effort to support Okinawa under the tutelage of local residents, as his job is to provide support in domestic affairs.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press