Governor again rebuffs Cabinet’s plea for Henoko

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, who’s currently visiting Okinawa to brief the Okinawa Governor on the on-going negotiations with the United States over the timetable of returning MCAS Futenma and other U.S. Military facilities south of Kadena Air Base, and gain his understanding of the necessity to move the Futenma facility to Camp Schwab in Henoko, did not seem to get much sympathy from Governor Nakaima.

In his answer the governor simply reiterated his often expressed opinion that the base should be moved outside of the prefecture, as sticking with the Henoko plan would take a “very long time to accomplish.”

He also told Suga that he is preparing to give his answer to the central government’s application for a landfill off Camp Schwab based on pertaining laws.

Suga did not get much more for his request urging the governor to attend the planned 61st anniversary ceremony of the restoration of Japan’s sovereignty after her defeat in the WWII, either.

The planned ceremony has disgusted many locals as they see the Apr. 28, the planned day of the ceremony, as the day when Okinawa was ceded to the U.S. Military control that lasted for 20 years until 1972.

Nakaima responded to the suggestion that he is considering the matter and has not made up his mind yet.

Japan and the U.S. have been in intense discussions lately over the timetable of the land return, including MCAS Futenma. An announcement of the results of the discussions is expected Friday.

After the meeting, Suga told the press that the Tokyo government plans to move ahead with the relocation plan steadily step by step while taking into account its obligations regarding previously signed agreements between the Japanese and U.S. governments, and also taking steps to reduce the burden Okinawa bears hosting the U.S. bases/