Japanese and U.S. cabinet ministers confirm the relocation of the facilities at Futenma to Henoko

September 16, 2011 Ryukyu Shimpo
 
On September 16, Defense Minister Yasuo Ichikawa had his first talks over the phone with his counterpart Leon Panetta, the United States Secretary of Defense. Ichikawa announced it at his press conference that during their talks they were united with regard to pressing ahead with the plan to relocate the Futenma Air Station to Henoko in Nago City, as per the Japan-U.S. agreement. According to Ichikawa, Secretary of Defense Panetta stated that the Futenma relocation is an important matter to advance in the context of the Japan-U.S. alliance, and he urged Ichikawa to move ahead on the Japan-U.S. agreement.

According to Ichikawa, Secretary of Defense Panetta said that the United States Government will strive to achieve concrete progress on the relocation, and he asked for the Japanese Government’s cooperation. With regard to their talks, Ichikawa said, “We agreed to move forward [on the relocation issues] in order to deepen the alliance. It was a friendly and positive meeting.”

At the same time, with regard to Under-Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter’s suggestion that the current plan be reviewed in the Senate Armed Services Committee, Ichikawa stated, “I know about that, but we only look to work in accordance with formal agreements.” He stressed that the Japanese Government will not consider reviewing the current plan.

(English Translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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