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Development Chief Meets Governor, Views Base

Date Posted: 2000-12-29

Former Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto made his first visit to the prefecture, Monday, as the new Okinawa Development Agency Chief, the post he assumed after the recent Japanese government shake up. During his one-day visit, Hashimoto met Okinawa Governor Keiichi Inamine, visited the Okinawa War Memorial Park and also took a look at the MCAS Futenma from a vantage point outside the installation.

At their meeting, the governor thanked Hashimoto for his efforts for securing larger development budgets from the central government for the prefecture. He also restated his demand for a 15-year limit for the new facility to be built to replace MCAS Futenma.

During his visit to Ginowan City, Ginowan Mayor Morimitsu Higa pointed out that MCAS Futenma is completely surrounded by residential areas, and expressed his concerns for the safety of the citizens.

However, Hashimoto did not touch on the issue of the 15-year time limit. Instead he stated that his visit gave him a better understanding of Okinawa’s base-related problems and wishes of local residents.

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