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Cabinet shake up brings new Okinawa minister

Date Posted: 2004-10-01

Japan’s Environmental Minister has a new hat.

She’s the Minister in Charge of Okinawa, where she now must juggle the responsibilities of protecting the environment and listening to complaints and appeals from Okinawans with the policies established by her bosses.

Yuriko Koike is the first minister to fill more than one position in the Japanese government in nearly three years. She’ll have to sort through the initiatives and objections to the new military airfield being planned for Henoko, which she’s objected to from environmental points of view, with the government stance that the airfield at Henoko must be built to protect and preserve the deterrent capabilities required for the safety of Japan.

She’s promised to listen to Okinawans, and to carry their message to Tokyo. She tells reporters she will visit the island soon.

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