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Mayors want U.S. troops moved ‘without conditions’

Date Posted: 2009-02-26

Few Okinawa mayors are impressed with the package agreement made last week between the American Secretary of State and Japan’s Foreign Minister to relocate U.S. Marines off Okinawa to Guam.

A survey of the Prefecture’s 41 municipalities’ mayors by the Ryukyu Shimpo newspaper found 40% totally unimpressed and disagreeing, while fewer than one-third leaned toward a favorable viewpoint. Even those 11 mayors weren’t really happy; only four gave unconditional support to the deal that would move 8,000 Marines and their families to Guam after a new airfield is constructed at Henoko. The other seven mayors added conditions to their support.

While eight mayors were withholding judgment, the majority told the newspaper the troops should be relocated without any conditions attached. “Most prefecture people are against the package agreement,” says the Okinawa City mayor, Mitsuko Tomon. “We are against an agreement with the package attached.”

Kadena Town and Yaese Town mayors, along with three others, refused to comment on the agreement. The Nago City mayor told the Ryukyu Shimpo “I don’t think it is necessary for me to answer.”

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