Nago Mayor to visit the United States in May

Nago Mayor to visit the United States in May

Nago Mayor Susumu Inamine

April 10, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

On April 9, Nago Mayor Susumu Inamine announced plans to visit the United States in the middle of May to declare his opposition to the relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station to Henoko in Nago.

He is still finalizing the details of his schedule, but tentatively confirmed the visit will take place from May 18 to 24. During his stay, he will meet US administration officials and inform them of the strong public opposition to the Henoko relocation. Besides this, Inamine plans to exchange views with members of both legislative houses, and release a joint statement with other intellectuals who have stated their opposition to the plan. He also plans to hold lectures hosted by US think tanks.

The last time he visited the United States in February 2012, he only went to Washington DC. This time, he is also planning to visit New York to interact with citizens at a more personal level.

At the press conference, Inamine criticized the Japanese government for continuing to pursue the relocation despite local opposition. He said public opinion was being ignored. The mayor stated, “Is this allowed in the United States and other countries? I strongly insist that what the Japanese government is trying to do is not acceptable around the world.”

Asked about the relationship between the Henoko issue and a recent environmental plan which the Nago City government completed in April, Inamine explained the new guidelines do not contradict the anti-Henoko stance. He said, “We can talk about the issue based on the Guideline for Environment Protection which Nago City made.”

Mayor Inamine reaffirmed his pledge to block the plan to move Futenma Station to Henoko by exercising his authority related to the approval procedures of building the new base.

(English translation by T&CT and Lima Tokumori)

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