Okinawa Governor to visit US to voice opposition to Henoko relocation plan

Okinawa Governor to visit US to voice opposition to Henoko relocation plan

Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga

May 12, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo

On May 11, the Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG) announced that Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga will visit the United States from May 27 to June 5. Onaga plans to stay in Washington D.C. from May 31 to June 4. He intends to convey to U.S. government officials, lawmakers, and think-tanks the OPG’s opposition to the plan to move U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to the Henoko district in Nago. He will appeal to them and ask them to reconsider the relocation plan. Prior to visiting Washington, Onaga will stay in Hawaii, which has a sister-state affiliation with Okinawa, from May 27 to 29. Onaga will meet Hawaii State Governor David Ige, who is third generation Okinawan American.

Onaga hopes to meet assistant secretaries of the Department of Defense and the Department of State during his visit to Washington. The Washington branch office of the OPG has been arranging meetings with U.S. officials.

Onaga is expected to convey the Okinawan people’s opposition to the relocation plan to Ige and seek support from the state governor. This year marks the 30th anniversary of a sister-state affiliation between Okinawa and Hawaii. Onaga and Ige are scheduled to discuss ways to promote exchange between Okinawa and Hawaii.

On May 11, Onaga spoke to the press. He said, “I would like to urge the U.S. side to discuss the matter on the premise that the OPG will not allow a new base to be built in Henoko.”

(English translation by T&CT)

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