Ahead of the general election, Okinawa Governor Nakaima reiterates his demand for the relocation of Futenma Air Station outside the prefecture

Ahead of the general election, Okinawa Governor Nakaima reiterates his demand for the relocation of Futenma Air Station outside the prefecture

On November 30, at the Okinawa Prefectural Office, in a talk with reporters, Okinawa Governor Nakaima said that he would not change his pledge to seek the relocation of MCAS Futenma outside of Okinawa.

December 1 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

On November 30, in a routine interview, Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima made reference to the assertion by top officials of the Liberal Democratic Party’s headquarters that they would construct the alternative facility for the relocation of Futenma Air Station to Henoko, Nago before the election for the House of Representatives. He said, “Whatever the composition of the next administration, I will not change my position, and will strive to see it fulfilled.” Asked whether or not his position represents his pledge to have Futenma Air Station relocated outside of Okinawa, Nakaima said, “Indeed it does.” Nakaima asserted that he would stick to his pledge even if the Liberal Democratic Party, which seeks to relocate the base within the prefecture, assumes power.

Nakaima then commented on the Democratic Party of Japan’s three-year administration as a whole, saying, “In terms of the promotion of the Okinawa economy, I think that the Act on Special Measures for the Promotion and Development of Okinawa is very good, as is the Reuse of the U.S. Military Facilities upon their Return to Japan.” However, Nakaima said, “I had great expectations that the central government would move to review the Japan-U.S. Status-of-Forces Agreement, but they have yet to do anything about it.”
With regard to the issue of the U.S. military bases in Okinawa, Nakaima said, “I expected the central government would ease the excessively heavy burden that the presence of the U.S. military places on Okinawa, but unfortunately they have done nothing.”

In reference to the U.S. military’s plan to complete deployment of Osprey aircraft to Okinawa in the beginning of December, Nakaima said, “I have continued to state that it is impossible for the U.S. Marine Corps in Okinawa to abide by the safety measures proposed by the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee, such as avoiding flights over residential areas, and that is still my position.”

Nakaima intends to check with the central government how the U.S. military will deploy the Osprey, saying, “The U.S. military has in no way eased the concerns regarding the safety of Osprey aircraft that have recently crashed. I will follow developments, and will request that the Japanese government report on this and provide a proper explanation of the situation.”

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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