: Classifieds : MyJU :
Stories: News
Browse News Stories: « Previous Story | Next Story »

Mayor returns empty handed from Hawaii

Date Posted: 2008-08-08

Ginowan Assembly, citizens are unhappy with Yoichi Iha. Mayor Yoichi Iha is back in Okinawa following a five-day Hawaii visit where his efforts to meet with U.S. military leaders and politicians to complain about Futenma Marine Corps Air Station were shunned by government leaders.

The fiery anti-base mayor of Ginowan City was on his third trek to Hawaii to try garnering support for closing Futenma, and he again was rebuffed in attempts to meet with U.S. Pacific Command chief, Admiral Timothy J. Keating, and the commander of U.S. Marine Forces Pacific, Lt. Gen. Keith J. Stalder. Instead he met with local citizens and politicians to discuss his concerns.

Iha returned to Okinawa Friday, where he was confronted by both local residents and Ginowan City Assembly members wanting to know why he had again gone to Hawaii. They questioned the practicality of the trip, asking what he accomplished. Iha had traveled at his own expense after being turned down by the Assembly for city financing of the trip.

The Ginowan City Assembly had twice before approved funding Iha’s overseas travel to lobby against Futenma, but this year rejected his request during the annual business meeting. Citizens and Assembly members are telling Iha he should be talking with the Japanese government, beginning discussions with them, instead of trying to talk to the American military.

Irked by Iha’s actions, new members of the Assembly were planning a trip this week to Tokyo, where they were going to meet with Japanese politicians to discuss the dangers posed by Futenma. Officials say they were not inviting the mayor to accompany them. Citizens have begun demanding action, telling the Assembly to correct the mayor’s actions and make him understand what they want.

As Iha returned Friday, Assembly members were taking independent action on Futenma, visiting the U.S. Consulate in Naha City to present Consul General Kevin Maher a copy of their resolution calling for “removal of danger” at the Marine base located in the heart of their heavily populated city. The Assembly wants Futenma closed, and the land returned to Japanese control.

The Consul General underscored his awareness of local concerns, but told the local politicians Futenma is necessary to fulfill obligations of the security treaty between Japan and the U.S. Maher told them the Futenma relocation to Henoko, in northern Okinawa, will solve the problems. Assembly members expressed dissatisfaction with the answers they received from Maher, charging the Consul General hasn’t taken any actions to lessen the dangers posed by Futenma’s continued operations.

Browse News Stories: « Previous Story | Next Story »

weather currency health and beauty restaurants Yellowpages JU Blog

OkistyleJU FacebookOkistyle

Go to advertising PDF?||?|o?L?qAE?|?}?OA?N?ga`OkiStyle?A??q?qM?oeu^?I`??N?gX?<eth>?<ETH>?ni^?IWanted!!Golden Kings ScheduleOkiNightSeeker