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Outgoing governor thanks citizens for support

Date Posted: 2006-12-18

Okinawa’s two-term governor, Keiichi Inamine, praised his prefecture’s citizens, and thanked them “from my heart” for all their support.

Inamine Sunday turned the reins of power to Hirokazu Nakaima Sunday after eight years as Okinawa’s prefecture leader. Calling the military base issues confronting Okinawa “complicated”, he said that under Nakaima, “I believe we can be near to solutions, step by step, by his listening to what citizens have to say.”

The new governor, said Nakaima, “is a capable person. I am sure he can succeed and develop further the policies I made.” Both Nakaima and Inamine are members of the Liberal Democratic Party.

The Futenma Air Base issue was the most difficult element of his term, he says. “I feel regret. It’s a pity the base problems are complicated because it’s intertwined with problems that began after World War II”, he noted, referring to U.S. occupation of what is now Okinawa Prefecture until 1972. Inamine said he “took up my post because I was frustrated with what was happening back then.”

Inamine predicted a bright future for Okinawa, with more international exchange, as well as a peaceful 21st century on the islands.

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