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Nakaima denies collusion with the Defense Minister over new deputy

Date Posted: 2007-08-16

Okinawa's governor is irritated by news reports he had a hand in recommending a former National Police Agency official to be the new deputy defense minister.

Hirokazu Nakaima dealt grimly with media reporters, telling them this news is totally wrong, and someone is trying to get Okinawa down, using a kind of trick news,_ talking about quotes attributed to him that he wanted Tetsuya Nishikana to be the new Deputy Minister of Defense. The reports say he struck a deal with Defense Minister Yuriko Koike, that she appoint Nishikana to be her number two in the ministry.

Reports say she went to Governor Nakaima seeking advice on who to choose to replace Takemasa Moriya, who’s held the position for five years. He reportedly made the recommendation in hopes of gaining favor with Koike during talks about the Futenma relocation talks.

的 didn’t make the suggestion at all, and nationwide newspapers tell lies,_ the governor says. He disputed a report that a Nago City Assembly member had urged Koike to pick Nishikana. Are you kidding? It’s impossible!_ said the governor. Newspapers reported Koike was to visit U.S. President George Bush, and wanted some support from Nakaima. The governor has been stonewalling an assessment paper from the Ministry of Defense, a paper outlining plans for a new airfield at Henoko.

Koike has triggered a firestorm with her selection of Nishikana to be Deputy Defense Minister. Cabinet officials have blasted the choice and her decision, telling her she shouldn’t have done anything before an upcoming Cabinet reshuffle, and not before consultations with other ministers.

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