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Criticism momentum builds against military realignment

Date Posted: 2005-12-08

Okinawa Prefecture’s Assembly has officially weighed in against the plan to realign military forces in Japan.

Political party representatives within the Assembly have blasted the plan, which includes moving Futenma Marine Corps Air Station to Camp Schwab. Their primary argument is that they were not consulted before the U.S. and Japanese governments made their decisions.

Governor Keiichi Inamine had already spoken against the plan, telling Japan’s foreign minister it was ill advised and contrary to the wishes of the Okinawa people.

Rengo Okinawa, the Okinawa Chapter of the Japan Trade Union Confederation, is also speaking against the interim report. More than 500 of its members are demanding the immediate closing of Futenma, and has told the national government in Tokyo Okinawa’s needs are not being met.

The Defense Facilities Administration Agency says it’s been trying to persuade prefectures and cities to accept the agreement. Director General Iwao Kitahara says his agency has met with 12 prefectures, including Okinawa, and at least 43 of the 55 municipalities involved in the proposed plan.

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