New mayor wants military to partially ease curfew
The newly elected mayor of Okinawa City, Sachio Kuwae, did not wait long to let it be known that he has the ear of local Okinawa City businesses.
In an interview after the election with the Okinawa Times newspaper, he made it clear that in his opinion it’s necessary to partially take down the curfew and drinking restrictions now in effect for the U.S. service members on Okinawa. He said he would present the matter to the US military officials as soon as he takes the office.
Kuwae explained, “With the curfew, stores on Gate 2 Street are shutting down their doors. It may be difficult to take the whole curfew system down, but if it would take a form with strict punctuality, and perhaps in a regionally limited manner, it might be possible. I would like to consider this not only with the administration but also together with the U.S. military personnel as well.”
When asked about the Liaison Council on U.S. Military Matters with Kadena and Chatan, Kuwae replied, “We will cooperate against the functional enhancement of the military bases.” But, “On the other hand,” he added “I think it should be different from the economical point of view”, emphasizing his different stance from the two other municipalities.