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Gist of PM Abe’s meeting with Okinawa governor on April 17

  • 2015-04-20 15:00:00
  • , Yomiuri
  • Translation

(Yomiuri: April 18, 2015 – p. 4)

 

 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: Okinawa is Japan’s door to Asia. It has strong advantages and tremendous potential. I would like to promote Okinawa’s economic development as a very important national strategy of Japan.

 

 Okinawa is still bearing the enormous burden of hosting U.S. military bases 70 years after the end of World War II. We would like to reduce this burden as much as possible.

 

 We share Okinawa’s wish to remove the danger posed by the Futenma Air Station as quickly as possible. As we try to move forward in the best way we can, relocation to Henoko in Nago City is the only solution. We would like to provide careful explanations to obtain Okinawa’s understanding. I would like to work with you to build Okinawa’s future.

 

 Governor Takeshi Onaga: The government is proceeding with Henoko relocation using the former governor’s approval of the landfill application as a “justification.” However, the Nago mayoral election, the Okinawa gubernatorial election, and the House of Representatives election last year have shown that the overwhelming popular will is against building a new military base in Henoko.

 

 Okinawa has never offered to provide a military base voluntarily. It is outrageous that after having its land seized from it, Okinawa is being told that the Futenma base is the “most dangerous military base” in the world and to come up with an alternative plan if we don’t like [the Henoko plan].

 

 I would like you to tell President Barack Obama (when you visit the U.S. later this month) that the governor and people of Okinawa are clearly opposed to Henoko relocation.

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