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Base hosting burden to be eased by new panel

Date Posted: 2010-09-15

A new government panel to be put into place by the end of September should ease the burdens Okinawa Prefecture suffers hosting American military installations and troops.

Thatís the idea behind the new panel being created in response to hefty opposition in Okinawa over plans for continuing with relocating Futenma Marine Corps Air Station within the prefecture. Yoshito Sengoku, the Chief Cabinet Secretary, says the idea is being presented to the Okinawa Prefecture government, noting he expects Governor Hirokazu Nakaima to endorse it.

Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa, Nakaima and Sengoku are all expected to sit on the panel, which would address the 2006 agreement between the U.S. and Japan that resulted in the decision to move Futenma to northern Okinawa. Sengoku and others within Prime Minister Naoto Kanís administration hope the renewed political approaches will lead to discussions on relocating Marinesí training exercises and reducing aircraft noise pollution from Kadena Air Base.

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