Governor Onaga to visit US to lobby Trump administration on base issue

January 17, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo

Governor Takeshi Onaga is scheduled to visit the United States from January 30 to February 5, according to an announcement from the Okinawa prefectural office on January 16.

The Trump administration will be inaugurated in the United States on January 20. Before the administration decides on its policies, Onaga aims to convey the Okinawa government’s stance on the construction of the new U.S. base at Henoko in Nago, seeking a review of the plan to build a replacement facility in Henoko for the Marine Corps’ Futenma air base in Ginowan City.

The prefectural office is working to make arrange meetings with the new U.S. government officials, the members of the U.S. congress and think tanks that can influence the government’s security policy.

The governor is scheduled to leave Naha Airport on the afternoon of January 30 and will arrive in Washington D.C. on the morning of January 31.

On February 2 at The George Washington University, Onaga will give a lecture on the Okinawa base issue and Moritake Tomikawa, a policy adviser to the prefectural government and a former professor of Okinawa International University will give a talk about the relationship between economics and the base issue.

Nago Mayor Susumu Inamine and president of Kanehide Group Morimasa Goya, who are co-representatives of the All Okinawa Council which aims to never allow the new base to be built, will visit Washington D.C. with the governor.

Kiichiro Jahana, the head of the Executive Office of the Governor, said, “Conveying the prefectural stance to the United States congress members and key figures when the new U.S. movement’s policy is about to be formed will be an effective approach. Staff members employed by the new administration may want information from outside sources.”

He added, “The Supreme Court ruled against the governor’s attempt to block the landfill work. However, it is important to convey to the new U.S. administration, the prefectural government’s policy on not allowing the new base in Henoko to be built.”

(English translation by T&CT)

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