Working Group on Futenma Base to Meet Early Next Year: Matsuno


Ginowan, Okinawa Pref., Dec. 4 (Jiji Press)--A working group discussing ways to reduce the burden of hosting the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air station on the city of Ginowan in Okinawa Prefecture will hold a meeting in January or February next year, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said Sunday.

The working group, made up of members from the central, Okinawa and Ginowan governments, last met in December last year. The city of Ginowan had been requesting the early convening of the group's meeting.

Matsuno, who doubles as minister tasked with reducing Okinawa Prefecture's burden of hosting U.S. military bases, told reporters in Ginowan, "We hope to surely proceed with our efforts while listening to the voices of people in Okinawa."

The central government is working to relocate the Futenma base, located in a heavily populated area in Ginowan, to the Henoko coastal district in Nago, another Okinawa city.

Matsuno visited Okinawa Prefecture from Saturday. During his stay in the prefecture, he exchanged opinions with the mayor of the prefectural capital city of Naha and the mayor of Ginowan.

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