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Ginowan mayor calls for Futenma use restrictions

Date Posted: 2010-01-14

Yoichi Iha isn’t happy that decisions to remove Futenma Marine Corps Air Station from his city aren’t moving forward, so he’s coming up with new demands of his own.

The Ginowan City mayor is making demands to the central government that “Futenma airport should have prohibitions and limitations for the American military to use the land on both ends of the runway.” The anti-base mayor is insisting “there is no clear zone inside the base, so we need a ‘clear zone’ for protection and safety reasons.”

Iha is calling for changes in government rules that would make the Futenma runway 1,000 meters shorter than it is now. He says he’s requesting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the U.S. military to implement the changes immediately. The mayor says that according to the SACO (Special Action Committee on Okinawa) Agreement, the runway distance for Futenma is 1,800 meters. He says the Master Plan provided to Ginowan City in 2007 showed the runway had been extended about 950 meters, which should make it possible to cut 500 meters from each end of the runway.

As Futenma is now closed for repairs, the Ginowan City mayor says it’s a perfect time for the U.S. Marines to shorten the runway by 1,000 meters.


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