Onaga meets senators McCain and Reed

Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga had a closed-door meeting in the building of the U.S. Senate in Washington D.C. with Senator John McCain (R), the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Senator Jack Reed (D), the vice- chairman of the committee.

In the meeting, Onaga explained that the U.S. military base construction in Henoko is not acceptable to people of Okinawa considering the background of the war history in Okinawa, and heavy burden caused by the concentration of the U.S. military bases in the prefecture. He stressed that he understands the importance of the security partnership between Japan and the United States. Minutes of the meeting have not been published according to the senators’ wishes.

Although both senators reportedly took a positive stance for the current Henoko relocation plan saying that it’s the best and only alternative if the MCAS Futenma were to be closed, they said that they would be willing to continue discussions of the matter.  Onaga said after the meeting that, “I was able to convey the will and message of Okinawan people to the senators. It was meaningful for me to meet them because they said we would carry on the conversation.”