(Yomiuri: January 15, 2015 – p. 4)
In connection with the central government’s allocation of 334 billion yen for economic development in Okinawa in fiscal 2015, a drop of 16.2 billion yen from the previous year, Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga told reporters at the Cabinet Office on Jan. 14: “Amid the extremely tight fiscal situation, the government earmarked an appropriate budget for Okinawa,” indicating his appreciation.
The government cut spending for Okinawa development for the first time in five years. Some say that Gov. Onaga’s opposition to the relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from Ginowan City to the Henoko area in Nago City influenced the government’s decision to reduce the allotment. However, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga rejected this view, saying at a press conference on Jan. 14, “The government closely examined the situation and found that part of last year’s subsidy remain unused.”
The government has earmarked 173.6 billion yen, double the amount allotted in fiscal 2014, for spending related to the base relocation in fiscal 2015. It plans to implement the relocation plan in a quiet manner. Onaga visited the Prime Minister’s Office on Jan. 14 for the first time after taking office as governor of Okinawa and he conveyed his opposition to the relocation plan to Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kazuhiro Sugita.