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Citing health, Nago mayor bows out of election race

Date Posted: 2005-10-28

The pro-US mayor of Nago is not running for reelection in January, adding more woes to the American plan for relocating Futenma into the Nago-Henoko area.

Mayor Tateo Kishimoto says his health doesn’t permit him to run again, opening the way for two assemblymen to step up in a bid for the office.

The two, 65-year-old Yoshitami Oshiro, and Munehiro Gakiya, 59, are opposed to any plans for an American airfield or heliport in the greater Nago area. Kishimoto, the current mayor, has been willing to have the American airfield built in his backyard, and has lobbied his constituents to support the plan. That plan is for the heliport to be built in reclaimed land in Henoko bay adjacent to Camp Schwab.

Okinawa Governor Keiichi Inamine, who opposes any plans now for a Futenma relocation within his prefecture, praised Kishimoto’s decision to retire, and told local reporters he predicts the new Nago mayor will be like him, “with a position similar to mine in opposing the relocation.”

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