Governor Onaga to visit to US at end of January, making appeal to incoming administration for Henoko issue
January 3, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo
Governor Takeshi Onaga has begun making preparations for a visit to the United States at the end of the month with the purpose of making a direct appeal for stopping new base construction in Henoko, Nago. With the inauguration of the United States’ next president set to occur on January 20, Gov. Onaga plans to meet with the incoming heads of the Department of Defense and the State Department to give the Okinawan position regarding the base construction before the plans are set in stone, and to ask both the Japanese and U.S. governments to change their position that “Henoko is the only solution” to solve MCAS Futenma relocation issue.
This will be Gov. Onaga’s third visit to the United States related to the Henoko base construction issue since May, 2016. The visit coincides with inauguration of president-elect Donald Trump to not only inform the new administration the opinion of Okinawans and the political situation, but also with hopes of a “fresh start” after the previous two visits.
This plan for this visit is to hold a symposium that includes people capable of influencing the American government.
The Abe administration re-started construction on December 27, and while both governments work to continue this “set course” into the next administration, Gov. Onaga will approach people other than just government officials and urge the United States to reconsider the issue.
(English translation by T&CT and Sam Grieb)
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