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Nation’s governors confer

Date Posted: 2002-07-25

Governors from all Japanese prefectures gathered for their annual meeting in the Okinawa Summit Memorial Hall in Nago starting Jul. 18. During meetings and workshops the governors discussed several topics including proposed changes in the so called SACO agreement.

At a press conference following the general meeting, the chairman of the Governors’ Committee, Saitama Prefecture Governor Yoshihiko Tsuchiya said that Okinawa Governor Keiichi Inamine had requested that the governors issue a statement to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi requesting that the SACO agreement be changed.

The proposal immediately draw a response from Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda who said that although he is ready to discuss changing the way the agreement is adapted, there’s no reason to reform the agreement.

Governors also discussed the Okinawa gambling casino proposal. The most vocal advocate of the casino was Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara who said that Tokyo could use one too. “If the rules are made clear to people, I’m sure that the implementation of this plan would go smooth and ensure great profits to the whole prefecture,” Ishihara said.

That was an opinion some other governors vehemently opposed. They claimed that if a casino comes to Okinawa, the value of education and the value of social environment would go down.

The debate was finally stopped by the chairman who said that the debate concerns only Okinawa, and the question should be decided by Okinawans only.

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