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Nakaima tells Tokyo to move Futenma out of Okinawa

Date Posted: 2012-03-28

Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima Saturday reiterated his demand that the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air station be move outside his southern Japan prefecture.

It is impossible to transfer the base to the Henoko coastal area of Nago, Nakaima told Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba at a meeting here, discussing what the governor will say in an opinion he plans to submit to the central government this week. The opinion is the governor's response to the central government's report on an environment impact on the Henoko area from land reclamation work for the relocation of the Futenma base from Ginowan.

Genba told Nakaima that the Futenma base should not stay at the current location forever, adding that he wants to continue detailed explanation of the relocation plan to Okinawa people. Genba also said talks between Japan and the United States on the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan will focus on ways to have U.S. Marines contribute to Japan's national security.

The minister also said Japan is negotiating with the United States on the return of five U.S. military facilities and land south of the U.S. Air Force's Kadena base in Okinawa. Japan seeks to realize their early return to the country.

In response to Nakaima's question about a central government response to a planned North Korean long-range ballistic missile launch, Genba said the government is considering deploying the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile interceptor system in Okinawa.

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