Onaga accepts military port move to Urasoe
Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga stated at a Prefectural regular November assembly meeting Friday that he would accept the move of the U.S. Military Port facility in Naha to Urasoe.
Moving the Naha Military Port to Urasoe is included in the final report of the Special Action Committee on Facilities and Areas in Okinawa. So far, Onaga had shown that he would accept the context of the final report, except the construction of a new U.S. base facility in Henoko, although he had not clearly stated accepting the U.S. Military Port move to Urasoe.
He emphasizes that his statement does not mean that he has changed his policy regarding the U.S. Military on Okinawa, however, it’s possible that his statement could increase criticism against him.
Onaga clarified his statement to the press at the Prefectural Office by saying, “It means that we accept to have a new port facility built in Urasoe that Okinawa Prefecture, Naha City, and Urasoe City are going ahead with this plan.”
He pointed out that his reason for accepting the plan is that local leaders including Mitsuo Gima, the former Urasoe Mayor, have already accepted it before. “Local opinions are very important. Those formed the basis for our decision,” Onaga said.
The Governor has adopted a stance of opposing the construction of new U.S. base facilities on the basis of Okinawa being burdened too much of U.S. military presence.
Regarding to move the military port to Urasoe, he said, “I see it meaning to move the facility to a different location within the same port. I still recognize that there is no land which we would voluntary offer for a new U.S. base.”