Okinawa Governor conveys his opposition to new US base
January 15, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo
On January 14, after cabinet approved the fiscal 2015 promotional budget for Okinawa, Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga visited the Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet Office. At his meeting with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kazuhiro Sugita, the governor conveyed his opposition to the government’s plan to move U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futema in Ginowan to Henoko, Nago, and said he sought to relocate it to outside of Okinawa. However, his plan to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chief Cabinet Secreatary Yoshihide Suga, who is responsible for reducing Okinawa’s base burden, was not realized this time.
The governor reported from the meeting that he sought the government official’s understanding of the gubernatorial election outcome, and pledged to block new base construction in Henoko and move the Futenma base to other prefectures or abroad. He told him it was unreasonable for Okinawa to host 74 percent of Japan’s U.S. military exclusive-use facilities when the island is only 0.6 percent of Japan’s land area, now that 69 years have passed since the end of World War II.
The deputy chief cabinet secretary said he would exchange opinions with the governor on how to reduce the base burden.
At his meeting with Yohei Matsumoto, parliamentary vice-minister at the Cabinet Office, the governor showed his appreciation that a certain amount of the Okinawa promotion budget had been ensured.
The governor said, referring to the Okinawa promotion budget reduction, “A required amount was reserved. However, it went up last year.” He showed his willingness to meet with Prime Minister Abe and Chief Cabinet Secreatary Suga, saying it is important to convey what we think to each other.
(English translation by T&CT)
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