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SECURITY

“No definition of Futenma suspension within five years”: Nakatani

  • May 12, 2016
  • , Ryukyu Shimpo , p. 1
  • Translation

Defense Minister Gen Nakatani said at the Diet that there is “no definite definition” of the suspension of operations at the U.S. Marines Air Station Futenma, which the central government and the Okinawa prefectural office have pledged to do by February 2019. He had previously explained that suspension means that “airplanes do not fly there,” but later retracted this comment by saying “We shouldn’t say things that lead to illusions. I’d like to retract it.” He has toned down his rhetoric even more with his latest remark, which was made in response to a question from Mikio Shimoji (Initiatives from Osaka).

 

Shimoji asked Nakatani whether Futenma-based aircraft will no longer conduct fly in and out of the facility once its operations are suspended. Nakatani explained the transfer of KC-130 air tankers to Iwakuni and stressed the government’s efforts to reduce the base-hosting burden on Okinawa.

 

On the suspension of operations, Nakatani noted “At the moment, there’s no definite definition.”

 

Shimoji expressed doubt over the minister’s response, saying, “It doesn’t make sense that there’s no definition.” (Slightly abridged)

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