Ruling parties in Okinawa assembly pass position document asking for halt to US military’s helipad construction
July 21, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo
At the regular meeting on July 21, ruling parties in the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly passed a position document by majority vote requesting the cancellation of helipad construction in the U.S. military’s Northern Training Area (NTA) in Takae, Higashi Village. The Liberal Democratic Party, which is currently the opposition party in the assembly, voted against the document stating that the cancellation of construction would compromise the plan to return the NTA. Assembly members from Komeito and the Japan Innovation Party took a neutral position and walked out.
In the position document, which asks for the cancellation of helipad construction, assembly members stated that the Prefectural Assembly has previously passed written arguments demanding the withdrawal of the Marine Corps and the recall of Osprey deployment. They went on to say that the construction of Osprey helipads in the Marine Corps’ Training Area is not acceptable. The statement was addressed to the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Defense Minister, and Minister in charge of Okinawan Affairs.
The Assembly also unanimously passed a written statement about the incursion of the Chinese Coast Guard ships into Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands, as well as a document calling for the cancellation of subsidy cuts to the maintenance of school air conditioners.
(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana)
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