LDP’s Nikai brings up importance of the Okinawa problem with U.S. Congressman Thornberry

July 20, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo
Washington Special Correspondent Yukiyo Zaha reporting

On July 18 during LDP Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai’s visit to the United States, he had a discussion with Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) of the U.S. House Committee on Armed Services. In a press conference following the discussion Nikai said, “I expressed [to Mr. Thornberry] that the Okinawa problem is a matter of concern for Japan.” He mentioned that he and Thornberry shared identical views in terms of recognizing the extreme importance of the Okinawa problem. They did not specifically address construction of a new base in Henoko, Nago, as a replacement facility for Futenma Air Station, or the U.S. military realignment in Japan.

During the press conference Nikai mentioned U.S. military issues in Okinawa: “I spoke candidly, saying that I have always recognized the Okinawa problem spanning the pre- and post-war periods as greatly important in Japanese politics, and from here on out if Japan and the U.S. have opportunities to mutually cooperate I want to do so. [Mr. Thornberry] replied that the Okinawa problem is extremely important and he will remain concerned with it.”

(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)

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