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Tanaka promises burden reduction is top priority

Date Posted: 2012-02-24

Japanese Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka says the government is giving top priority to reducing the burden on Okinawa Prefecture of hosting U.S. bases.

Tanaka made the remark at a weekend meeting here with Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima. At the meeting, Tanaka explained about an ongoing review by the Japanese and U.S. governments of the 2006 road map for U.S. military realignment in Japan while calling on Nakaima to support the planned relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station within Okinawa.

Okinawa’s governor didn’t sit quietly, reiterating Okinawa's request for moving the Futenma base outside the prefecture. ‘We want the government to move the base as soon as possible.’ Earlier in the day, the minister visited U.S. military facilities in Okinawa as well as the Henoko coastal area in the city of Nago, to which the government wants to move the Futenma base

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