Takeshi Onaga starts as new Governor today

64-year-old Takeshi Onaga, who won the Nov. 16th Okinawa gubernatorial election, took his post today.

Onaga was elected on his stance of opposing the relocation of MCAS Futenma to Henoko, and has promised that he would find a way to move the MCAS Futenma outside of the prefecture.

Onaga is reportedly planning to solve the base issue by persistently urging the    Japanese and the U.S. Governments to scrap the current plan and find a new solution. His first order of business is to check the landfill paperwork that previous Governor Hirokazu Nakaima approved, and try to find mistakes that would give him the grounds to revoke the permission. The whole nation is watching him to make his move.

Onaga is the 7th governor since Okinawa’s reversion in 1972, and the first born after the war.  Besides the problematic issue with Henoko, he has much work to do, including stimulating the economy and industry in the prefecture, and promoting the remote islands.

Onaga entered his new office at 9 a.m. for the first time, and got the formal handover of the prefecture reins from Kurayoshi Takara, a former Vice Governor who resigned with the end of the term of the former Governor Nakaima.  Following the handover, Onaga was scheduled to hold his first press conference as a Governor at 10:30 a.m.

Onaga is planning to pick up 71-year-old Isho Urasaki, a member of the Prefectural Assembly, and 66-year-old Naha City Assembly Chairman Mitsuo Ageda as his deputy governors.