In New Year’s address, Gov. Tamaki highlights policies to alleviate child poverty and improve employment

In New Year’s address, Gov. Tamaki highlights policies to alleviate child poverty and improve employment

Gov. Denny Tamaki delivering his New Years address at the Okinawa Prefectural Government Office on the morning of Jan 4.

January 5, 2021 Ryukyu Shimpo

On January 4, the first working day of 2021, Governor Denny Tamaki delivered his New Year’s address at the Okinawa Prefectural Government Office. In his speech, the governor positioned alleviating child poverty as “the most important policy for the prefectural government” and said, “the importance [of these measures] is increasing due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.” He added, “In addition to achieving a society in which children can grow up in good health, we will continue to improve the quality of work in Okinawa, including raising the income per capita and expanding full-time employment.”

The governor looked back on the previous year as “a year in which Okinawans came together in the face of unprecedented hardship.” With regard to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Governor Tamaki stated, “Okinawa’s socio-economic situation and the livelihood of its people continue to be in peril.” He emphasized that “we are doing all that we can to maintain a societal safety net, even under these challenging circumstances.”

Tamaki also spoke on the new Okinawa Promotion and Development Plan: “Our societal situation has changed drastically; we must think ahead to life ‘with corona’ and ‘after corona’ and implement a medium- to long-term development plan.” He highlighted incorporating the principles underlying the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into the new plan.

On the topic of U.S. military base issues, he stated, “I strongly urge the government to eliminate the dangers of the Marine Corps Air Station Futenma as soon as possible, including the immediate suspension of its operations, and its closure and return.” He added, “We will work tirelessly to resolve the various issues arising from the bases, starting with a fundamental review of the consolidation and downsizing of U.S. military bases in Okinawa and the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement.”

(English translation by T&CT and Monica Shingaki)


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