Governor Onaga to meet Prime Minister today
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is meeting Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga today in Tokyo. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga and Okinawa Deputy Governor Mitsuo Ageda will also be present at the meeting that will be held behind closed doors.
This is the first time Onaga meets the Prime Minister since the governor took office last December. During the meeting, the prime minister is expected to ask for Onaga’s understanding of the central governments position on the relocation of the MCAS Futenma to Henoko, while Onaga is likely to repeat his opposition to the move, pointing to the opposition among local voters.
The meeting is expected to last about 30 minutes. The governor presented his request for the meeting when the chief cabinet secretary visited Okinawa on Apr. 5th.
Onaga is scheduled to visit the U.S. at the end of this month to present his case there.
In a recent interview with Jiji Press, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said that United States would be likely to listen if Japan suggested any changes to the current relocation plan, but stressed that resolving the matter should be left to discussions between the Japanese government and Okinawa Prefecture. “Americans are going to let Japan take the lead on this, but if the government of Japan comes to us with another idea, then we’ll certainly listen,” he said.
He also said in the same interview that, “Both Japanese and American bureaucrats should take some blame” for the stalemate over the Futenma relocation plan.