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Consul General calls for action on Futenma

Date Posted: 2007-05-24

The US Consul General on Okinawa thinks it’s time for officials to get moving forward on plans to build a new airfield in northern Okinawa to facilitate closing Futenma Marine Corps Air Station in Ginowan City.

Kevin Maher says “The U.S. and Japanese governments have negotiated the plan in detail, including location of runways. It’s not the time to negotiate, but now time to implement it.” Agreements were reached a year ago to building a new military airfield at Camp Schwab in the Nago City area, but work has not begun. The airfield would feature two V-shaped runways built on landfill extending into Oura Bay at Henoko.

While the agreement is in effect, Japan’s Defense Minister is suggesting there could be changes to it. Fumio Kyuma thinks modifications could be made after environmental assessments are complete.

Maher says that “makes no sense”, saying change should not even be considered before the assessements. Once done, and environmental impacts are taken into account, he thinks there will be “no need to change much” of it.

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