OPG will establish a research office in the United States on U.S. military affairs next April

July 2, 2011 Ryukyu Shimpo

On July 1, the first day of the regular meeting of the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly (Chairman Zenshin Takamine), referring to the new Security Research Organization, Governor Hirokazu Nakaima stated, “It will commence no later than next April, but its research activities will be underway this September.” Also with regard to the matter of a field office in the United States for gathering information about military affairs such as U.S. bases in Okinawa and the relocation of Futenma Air Station, he stated, “We want to create something useful on matters related to the base problem. We will appoint resident staff early in the piece, and want to officially launch the field office next April,” when the research office will also be set up.

On the research objectives of both organizations, Nakaima said, “We want to understand the security environment in the Asia-Pacific region. We must be prepared to cope with large-scale natural disasters and need risk management capabilities to prevent the likes of a super-flu from occurring. We must be ready to deal with possible situations in which we ourselves must protect life or property, so not look to just limit ourselves to the narrowly-defined defense issue.”

At the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee (2+2) held on June 21, Japan and United States agreed that a disaster relief hub should be set up in Japan and it is thought that this will be located in Shimoji-jima. On this matter, the governor said, “We must first take a close look at the agreement. Former governors maintained a policy of ‘disapproval of the military use of Shimoji-jima.’ I need to think about how to maintain this policy,” but he declined to go as far as saying that he is clearly opposed to it.

On July 1, the first day of the regular meeting, general questions for the governor and other officials by members of the assembly started.

(English Translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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