Gov. Onaga asks for cancelation of new base at his first meeting with US officials

June 4, 2015 Sakae Toiyama of Ryukyu Shimpo reports from Washington D.C.

Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga met with the State Department Office of Japanese Affairs Director Joe Young and Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Cara Abercrombie on June 3 at the U.S. State Department. The Governor urged the U.S. government to abandon the plan to build a new U.S. base in Henoko, Nago, and move the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma Ginowan outside of Okinawa. This is the first time he has directly asked U.S. government officials to cancel the Henoko relocation plan since he took the governor’s office.

The Governor showed officials reports in the local newspapers, including the Ryukyu Shimpo, of a protest rally, aimed at blocking the new U.S. base in Henoko, attended by 35,000 people. He said, “Okinawan people have asserted that they will not allow a new U.S. base to be built. They have supported the Japan- U.S. security alliance. However, now they cannot accept the plan to relocate the Futenma base to Henoko.”

Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Abercrombie stressed that the relocation plan is the only solution. Director Young promised to convey the governor’s message to his superior and to report the response to the governor.

(English translation by T&CT)

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