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New mayor wants to dump JSDF contract

Date Posted: 2006-07-08

The Naha Self Defense Agency has a contract to rent the Kadena Magazine area in Okinawa City.

Mayor Mitsuko Toumon wants to “withdraw the contract for renting the land.” The newly elected mayor says “we don’t want to build a shooting range for Japanese Self Defense Forces.” Instead, she tells the Defense Agency “we should ask the citizens’ opinions about what we should build on this city land.

Former mayor Masakazu Nakasone made the contract with the Japanese government more than a year ago to rent the land to JSDF for construction of a rifle shooting range. Toumon says “building the shooting magazine will make military base functions stronger (on Okinawa), and I don’t want that!”

The Naha Self Defense Agency says “we made the contract by law, and our contract is still in effect.” A government official asked “Okinawa citizens to understand, and to continue discussions on mutual issues.”

Toumon says she was responding to Assembly members who had asked her if it was possible to withdraw the contract. “I don’t know if it is,” she says, “but I can at least express my opinion as to what I want.” She charges Nakasone with failing to ask the citizens what they wanted done with the land.

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