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SECURITY > Okinawa

Gov’t to discuss improvement of SOFA implementation

On June 3, the government held a meeting at the Kantei of “the team for preventing crimes in Okinawa Prefecture,” comprising senior officials of relevant ministries and agencies. In the meeting, the administration decided on a package of measures to deter crime in Okinawa including the establishment of a government-led patrol unit with 100 vehicles.

 

In the meantime, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga indicated at a press conference on June 3 that the Japanese and the U.S. defense ministers will discuss the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) at a bilateral defense ministers’ meeting scheduled on June 4 in Singapore. According to a government official, the defense ministers will discuss whether SOFA can be reviewed with regard to the scope of implementation for U.S. civilians who are protected by privileges under the current SOFA.

 

In response to the government’s stance, Okinawa Prefectural Governor Takeshi Onaga told the press on June 3, “It is totally unacceptable to the people of Okinawa who have borne the burden of the bases for 70 years that the government is attempting to deal with the issue by improving the implementation of SOFA [rather than revising the agreement].”

 

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