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Nakaima meets Kan; two can’t agree on the Futenma move

Date Posted: 2010-06-17

Okinawa’s governor traveled to Tokyo to meet with the new Prime Minister, but stood his ground against moving Futenma Marine Corps Air Station to northern Okinawa despite pleas to accept the government agreement.

Hirokazu Nakaima refused to back down from his position opposing the Futenma move from Ginowan City to the Henoko district of Nago City, telling Naoto Kan it would be “very difficult” to accept the plan. Kan had told the governor he will honor the U.S. – Japan agreement signed last month to proceed with a pact originally made in May 2006. He also told Nakaima that even as he moves forward on the airfield relocation, he is committed to reducing the burden Okinawa carries by hosting many American military installations.

Nakaima, during the half-hour meeting with the Prime Minister, expressed his sadness and regrets that Japan made the new agreement. Kan, during the meeting at his official residence, asked Nakaima to help obtain understanding from Okinawans on the necessity of the agreement.

Kan plans to visit Okinawa next week to participate in annual ceremonies commemorating the end of the 1945 Battle of Okinawa on June 23rd. Kan told Nakaima he hopes to hold further talks with him on the matter.

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