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Politician unveils alternative plan for relocating MCAS

Date Posted: 2003-05-24

A local politician is pushing a new plan for relocating MCAS Futenma. Mikio Shimoji's idea is to move the base to within Kadena Air Base. Shimoji, a liberal democratic member of the House of Representatives, pitched his proposal in Naha City Monday on his alternative plan.

Shimoji's long-held plan is to relocate the functions of the MCAS Futenma within Kadena Air Base instead of building a new base off Henoko, as approved by the Japanese Government. He claims that his plan would be as effective as building the new offshore base, and would cost only one tenth of the projected cost of the new base.

Shimoji has proposed his plan on several occasions, and has received severe rebuke from LDP party elders for it, but he is adamantly pushing ahead. In his lecture, Shimoji disclosed a detailed plan for relocating helicopter hangars and other facilities to Kadena Golf Course area. He said that locating the facilities to the golf course area would allow constructing the flight routes of the helicopters in the way that would no pose danger to residential areas.

He also claimed that is would be possible to reduce the number of takeoffs and landings on Kadena Air Base by half by relocating training to Guam and other overseas locations. Shimoji also said it would be possible to resolve all relevant environmental, safety and noise pollution issues.

He also concluded that the estimated cost of construction of his proposal would be 57.1 billion since there would be no need to build extra runways that would be less than one tenth of the projected cost of building a new base off Henoko.

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