Morton Halperin visits Okinawa first time in 47 years

Morton Halperin who served as a senior negotiator of the U.S. Government at the reversion of Okinawa to Japan talks visited Okinawa yesterday for the first time in 47 years.  During his visit, Halperin took a look at the MCAS Futenma, and viewed some other places like the Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum and Peace Memorial Park.

Regarding the construction of the new base in Henoko, Nago, Halperin said “It’s not good to build bases in other countries.  The popular will of local citizens should be considered.  The issues should be solved considering the opinion of Okinawan people opposing the new base construction.”

Looking over the MCAS Futenma from the roof of the Okinawa International University, Halperin expressed his surprise saying, “I’m very surprised that this vast U.S. military base still remains in the middle of a populated area.”

Later Halperin had a meeting with Nago Mayor Susumu Inamine, and received an explanation of the current situation on Okinawa.  “In this democratic country, the act of disregarding Okinawan citizens’ opinions should not be condoned,” Halperin opined.  He is scheduled to visit Henoko today.