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Majority of Okinawans want Futenma ‘out’

Date Posted: 2006-11-25

A new Kyodo News Agency survey indicates almost 60% of Okinawa residents want the American Marine Corps base at Futenma in Ginowan City to be closed.

The telephone poll conducted little more than a week ago cited 58.4% of the thousand individual surveyed as opposed to moving the base to anywhere else in Okinawa. Some 20.3% of the respondents think the base should be moved to Henoko, as planned.

Plans have been under way for years to move Futenma, but political, environmental and economic concerns have stymied the moves. The current plan is for Futenma to move to Camp Schwab in Henoko, not later than 2014. A V-shaped pair of 1,800 meter long runways are to be constructed to support Marine Corps operations. Fighter aircraft would not use the proposed new base.

That agreement was signed last May between the U.S. and Japanese governments, as part of a massive reorganization of American troops and facilities in both Okinawa and mainland Japan. The plan also calls for moving approximately 8,000 Marines to Guam.

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