Okinawa Governor Race Lacks Steam as U.S. Base Issue Fades


Naha, Okinawa Pref., Sept. 8 (Jiji Press)--Campaigning for Sunday's Okinawa gubernatorial election is lacking steam as the planned relocation of a key U.S. base within the southernmost Japan prefecture is fading as an issue.

Three years and nine months have passed since the central government started dumping soil for land reclamation off the Henoko district of the Okinawa city of Nago, to which it plans to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air station in Ginowan, also in Okinawa.

As the work progresses, the base relocation to Henoko is increasingly a fait accompli. Both the supporting and opposing camps seem to have less energy than at the time of the previous gubernatorial election in 2018.

In Sunday's poll, incumbent Governor Denny Tamaki, 62, and Atsushi Sakima, 58, former mayor of Ginowan, will face off as they did in the 2018 election.

Tamaki strongly opposes the base relocation within Okinawa, while Sakima tolerates the current relocation project.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press