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Okinawa Governor Ota rejects U.S. heliport project

Date Posted: 1998-02-14

The governor of Japan's southern island prefecture of Okinawa, Masahide Ota, announced his opposition to the construction of a U.S. offshore heliport, formally at a news conference on Friday.

"Okinawa has decided not to accept the government's proposal," stated Ota.

Tokyo would like to construct the offshore heliport in a secluded location to replace a U.S. air station that is located in an municipal part of the island in conjunction with a deal negotiated with Washington to diminish American military presence in Okinawa.

An overwhelming vote against the heliport in a non-restrictive referendum, by residents of Nago last December, caused the resignation of Nago Mayor Tetsuya Higa, after expressing his support of the project.

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