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Governor, local mayors still rejecting Futenma plan

Date Posted: 2011-02-11

The governor of Okinawa is standing his ground, backed by mayors of several local communities that host American military installations, again telling national political leaders from mainland Japan that relocating Futenma Marine Corps Air Station to northern Okinawa is simply not workable.

Governor Hirokazu Nakaima has met with the Secretary-General of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan to reiterate his stance that Futenma must go out of Okinawa. Katsuya Okada listened, then continued to reassure Nakaima, as well as Nago City Mayor Susumu Inamine and Ginowan Mayor Takeshi Asato, that the Japanese government remains committed to easing the burdens on Okinawa.

Inamine and Asato are part of a Prefectural Council discussing problems relating to having U.S. military bases here, with those facilities and troops comprising the bulk of U.S. bases in the country. Inamine and Asato asked Okada to listen to them, and have the central government do a better job of curbing noise pollution from military aircraft at both Futenma and the Kadena Air Base.

The governor joined the two mayors in asking Okada to press the U.S. military to redouble efforts to prevent crimes and accidents involving U.S. servicemen in the prefecture. They've reminded Okada that the May 2010 Japan" U.S. accord to relocate Futenma from Ginowan to the Henoko coastal area of Nago should be reviewed.

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