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DPJ Secretary General opposes Futenma move inside Okinawa

Date Posted: 2010-03-10

The Secretary General of the Democratic Party of Japan, the party now governing the country, is opposing proposals that would keep Futenma Marine Corps Air Station on Okinawa soil.

Ichiro Ozawa is warning political leaders in Tokyo the controversial airfield must be moved outside Okinawa, and not moved to the northern part of the island as agreed to by the Japan and U.S. governments in May 2006. Keeping the base inside Okinawa “would cause huge damage to our image and we would not be able to battle in the election,” Ozawa says, looking ahead to the Summer elections for the Upper House.

“The prime minister has also said it should be moved outside of the prefecture or abroad, and he knows that keeping it would be disadvantageous in the election,” Ozawa says. Government officials have been reconsidering keeping the base in Okinawa, moving it to Henoko as originally planned nearly three years ago. Ozawa says that plan would not be in the best political interests of the Democratic Party of Japan.

Support for the Prime Minister’s cabinet fell to below 40% for the first time, dropping 6.7 points in a month. Support for the DPJ also fell two points to below 30%, while support for the Liberal Democratic Party inched up 0.6 points to 19.3%. Ozawa’s stock also continues to fall, with 43% of those surveyed saying he should both resign from the Diet and step down from the DPJ position.

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