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U.S., Japanese defense chiefs keep Futenma cards on table

Date Posted: 2011-07-21

Nothing is going to change on the Futenma Marine Corps Air Station relocation, at least not as far as Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa and U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta are concerned.

Speaking together for the first time since Gates took the Pentagon leadership role July 1st, the two agreed that Tokyo and Washington will continue on with plans to relocate Futenma within Okinawa. Kitazawa reportedly told Panetta the two countries should make further efforts to relocate the controversial airbase from Ginowan City in central Okinawa, as agreed last month during meetings between defense and foreign ministers of the two countries.

The two defense leaders also agreed to step up the bilateral alliance activities in light of China’s increasing military assertiveness, and the threats being posed by North Korea.

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