Okinawa governor asks Japanese government to cancel plan to deploy more Osprey to Okinawa

Okinawa governor asks Japanese government to cancel plan to deploy more Osprey to Okinawa

Hirokazu Nakaima (second from the left) asked Yoshihide Suga (third from the left) to cancel the plan to bring more Osprey to Okinawa at the office of Prime Minister on July 9.

July 9, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima and Ginowan Mayor Atsushi Sakima visited Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga at the office of the Prime Minister on July 9. They asked Suga to cancel the plan by which the U.S. military would station additional MV-22 Osprey aircraft to Okinawa in early August.

Nakaima mentioned the early return of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma where the military plans to deploy the aircraft. He said, “The Okinawan people are still concerned about the danger posed by the Osprey.” Suga said, “We would like to work towards reducing the excessive burden on Okinawa of hosting the U.S. military bases,” but he did not mention canceling the plan.

After the meeting, Nakaima talked to the press, saying, “The former administration led by the Democratic Party of Japan responded to our requests relatively quickly, but the current administration hardly responds to our requests at all.” Nakaima will ask the central government to respond more swiftly.

Sakima said, “Stationing the Osprey to Futenma Air Station continues to concern local residents because of its location in a densely populated area. I want the central government to provide a specific plan to remove the danger involved.”
Nakaima and Sakima asked the central government to respond to six requests regarding the reduction of Okinawa’s burden. These include sending the aircraft to other prefectures and the U.S. military adhering to the agreement set up by the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee on the aircraft’s operation.

They also visited Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera in the afternoon of July 9.

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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