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Ministry softens, awards subsidies to three northern communities

Date Posted: 2007-11-09

Three northern Okinawa communities who irritated the Ministry of Defense with their opposition to Japanese Ground Self Defense Forces using an American base have changed their stance, winning themselves new subsides previously withheld.

Kin Town, Ginoza Village and Onna Village had argued against permitting the JGSDF from using the U.S. Marines’ Camp Hansen, despite the U.S.-Japan agreement that authorized the base use. The three communities had vowed in September to fight the plan, but changed positions after the Ministry explained the JGSDF presence would pose no burden to local residents.

The three towns and villages approved resolutions Monday night agreeing not to oppose the JGSDF activity, although Ginoza’s mayor did tell the Ministry “when they use this facility, try not to place burdens on local residents.” The Okinawa Self Defense Ministry also explained the JGSDF training mission to Onna Village residents and leaders.

The best news for the communities Tuesday was word from the Ministry of Self Defense that subsidies would be reinstated. While opposed to the joint use of Camp Hansen, the Ministry had blocked funds.

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