New Ginowan Mayor opposes the deployment of Osprey to Futenma Air Station

New Ginowan Mayor opposes the deployment of Osprey to Futenma Air Station

At the Ginowan City Council on March 1, Ginowan Mayor Atsushi Sakima delivered a policy speech.

March 2 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

On March 1, the Ginowan City Council held its regular meeting for March 2012. In his policy speech, newly-elected Ginowan mayor, Atsushi Sakima, voiced his opposition to the deployment of the MV-22 Osprey vertical take-off and landing transport aircraft to the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, saying, “I would like to work together with the City Council and relevant organizations to oppose the deployment of the Osprey by holding protest rallies.” It is the first time that Sakima has clearly stated that he would hold rallies against the deployment of the Osprey aircraft to Futenma Air Station.

In the press conference held after the meeting, Sakima said, “The deployment of the Osprey could put the lives of local residents at risk. It will not ease Okinawa’s burden of hosting U.S. forces and instead will strengthen the military presence.” He went on to say, “I would like to consider the details of and schedule for rallies, and to work together with the City Council and other organizations.”

With regard to the relocation of Futenma Air Station within Okinawa, he said, “The situation is extremely difficult. The current relocation plan is in effect impossible to implement.” On that basis, Sakima reasserted his demand for the relocation of the station outside of Okinawa, saying, “Working together with the Governor of Okinawa, I would like to strongly appeal to the Japanese and the U.S. governments to eliminate the dangers posed by the base, and to call for its relocation outside of Okinawa without further delay. I will do anything I can to realize the closure and return of the base.”

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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