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Nago Mayor Approves Henoko Heliport Project

Date Posted: 1999-12-31

Following meetings held during Christmas weekend, Nago City Mayor, Tateo Kishimoto accepted plans to move the Futenma Marine Corps Air Station to Nago’s southeastern district of Henoko. The Mayor’s approval is considered to have cleared the final obstacle towards the relocation of Futenma. It also ended a debate that has been going on for more than three years.

The isssue first came up in 1996, when the US and Japan decided to move Marine air operations to other, less developed areas of Okinawa. Kishimoto said that accepting the new base was the hardest decision he has every made. He accepted the plan despite opinion polls showing 60 percent of voters in that area in opposition to the new base. The Mayor accepted the plans with expectations of a 100 billion yen support package from Tokyo over the next 10 years to revitalize the local economy.

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