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LDP to set up Okinawa research institute headed by Shimajiri

  • 2015-11-04 15:00:00
  • , Tokyo Shimbun
  • Translation

(Tokyo Shimbun: November 4, 2015 – p. 6)

 

 The ruling Liberal Democratic Party will set up an Okinawa research institute as early as the end of this month, sources disclosed. The institute will be called “Think Tank Okinawa” and it will be headed by Minister of State for Okinawa Aiko Shimajiri, a source connected to the LDP disclosed on Nov. 3. It will draft proposals for such areas as regional economy, education, and welfare in order to revitalize Okinawa. The LDP aims to promote understanding [in Okinawa] for the government’s security policy.

 

 The LDP intends to bridge the gap between the views of the central government and Okinawa, which are at odds over the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station (in Ginowan City). The move appears to be motivated by a desire to support Shimajiri’s bid for reelection in the House of Councillors election next summer.

 

 To coincide with establishment of the think tank, the LDP will host a lecture on foreign and security policy in Naha City. Shigenobu Tamura, a writer who is an assistant to the party’s Policy Research Council and will serve as deputy head of the think tank, is expected to explain the need for the security laws and role of the U.S. forces in Japan.

 

 In December or later, the think tank will hold a symposium in which it will discuss measures for revitalizing the regional economy in cooperation with local companies. In an attempt to increase foreign visitors to Okinawa, it will also hold training sessions for local municipalities and corporations.

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