Okinawa government provides information about Henoko relocation

August 24, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

The Japanese government has filed an application to the Governor of Okinawa for permission to reclaim land off Henoko, Nago in preparation for relocating U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. The Okinawa Prefectural Government has received 3,500 statements of opinion from people involved in the issue.

Yukie Yoshikawa, a senior research fellow in the Regional Security Policy Division of the government, sent emails about the issue to around 750 people including government officials, security policy researchers and news organizations inside and outside Japan.

The representative of the division said, “U.S officials see moving the facilities at Futenma Air Station to Henoko as quite feasible. They lack information about Okinawa. It is important for us to stimulate their interest in the issue and getting them to understand the complexities involved by directly providing them with correct information.”

While the head of the Executive Office of the Governor is in charge of base issues, the head of the Civil Engineering and Construction Division reviews the land reclamation application. Yoshikawa received the approval from them and used her own network to send emails to each individual.

She sent emails in English to the people in the United States explaining developments since the Japanese government filed the application at the end of March and how they went about doing it.

Yoshikawa mentioned that Nago Mayor needs a resolution from the City Assembly when delivering his remarks on the application. She explained that the Okinawa governor will decide at the end of the year or the start of the year whether or not he will approve the reclamation. She said the governor’s decision will follow a review of the application documents, opinion from people concerned, as well as from heads of local villages, cities and governmental agencies.

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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