Minister Jibs at Okinawa's Proposal for 3-Way Dialogue


Naha, Okinawa Pref., Oct. 23 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi has shown reluctance to accept a proposal from Okinawa Prefecture for setting up a forum for three-way dialogue with the Japanese and U.S. governments on ways to reduce Okinawa's burden of hosting U.S. bases.

When Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki made the proposal during his talks with Kishi at the prefectural office in Naha on Thursday, the minister said, "The (central) government will represent the country in negotiations with the United States."

"We're not thinking of setting up (the proposed forum) anytime soon," he added.

It was the first time for Kishi to visit the southernmost Japan prefecture since he took office last month.

Tamaki called on the Japanese government to suspend the construction work to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air station in a densely populated area in the city of Ginowan in Okinawa to the Henoko coastal district in Nago, another city in the prefecture.

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Jiji Press