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Ginowan mayor says Americans now are questioning Futenma

Date Posted: 2009-11-05

Yoichi Iha, Ginowan City’s feisty mayor, has been loud and clear that he wants Futenma Marine Corps Air Station moved not only out of his city, but also outside of Okinawa, and he says that now “I believe Americans are having their own doubts about the future of this transfer.”

The mayor’s gearing up to be a speaker at Sunday’s mass rally and demonstration against Futenma, slated to take place at Kaihin Park in Ginowan City. “Why do we want to transfer Futenma to another place on Okinawa?” he asks, suggesting that “if it is to get away from the dangerous life and have peace and all noise gone too, why do we want to give this problem to Henoko people?” Iha says “all dangerous air stations should be removed to outside Okinawa, and promises that “I want to bring the action to new political power.”

Iha says he believes Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has the same opinion as he does, and says he wants to work with the Prime Minister. “The Americans are starting to think it will be impossible to go by the current idea, so they’re trying to push Japan strongly to go with what the two countries agreed to before,” he says, “and our Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama is promising to ‘take good care of Okinawan people’s ideas,’ so I don’t think American President Barack Obama will tell the Prime Minister ‘No, I can’t agree with your opinion’”.

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