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SECURITY > Okinawa

Okinawa Prefecture asks to host karate at 2020 Olympics

  • August 10, 2016
  • , Okinawa Times , p. 2
  • Translation

On Aug. 9, Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga met with Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs Yosuke Tsuruho at the prefectural government building and handed him a list of 17 requests. The list includes new demands of the central government, including cooperation to hold in Okinawa the karate events for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics and to host the advanced training camps for this new Olympic sport.


In terms of U.S. base issues, the list included abandoning the plan to relocate Futenma Air Station to Nago City’s Henoko, eliminating the danger that the Futenma base poses to the local community, and achieving the prompt return of Futenma. Regarding problems stemming from the bases, the list also pointed out the need to take measures to counter noise pollution, prevent accidents and incidents involving U.S. military personnel, and reduce the excessive burden of the U.S. bases on Okinawa.


In addition to securing a 300-billion-yen level budget related to Okinawa for fiscal 2017 and extending tax revisions, it also requested the expansion of Okinawa’s functions as an international distribution hub and reduction of landing charges for international route passenger flights. It also included expansion of the civil aviation area at Naha Airport and comprehensive measures to ensure no negative impact on the prefecture’s agriculture, fisheries, and forestry industries from the introduction of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact. In terms of social welfare, the list included the promotion of measures to counter child poverty and support for municipal National Health Insurance programs.


In addition, the list of requests included the prompt introduction of the railway, review of the Japan-Taiwan fisheries agreement and the Japan-China fisheries agreement, security in waters surrounding the Senkaku Islands, reduction of the burden on the prefecture of bomb disposal, and accelerating the collection of the remains of war dead.


On Aug. 9, Okinawa Prefectural Assembly head Yonekichi Shinzato met with Tsuruho at the Prefectural Assembly building. Shinzato requested that Okinawa promotion funds needed to implement the Okinawa 21st Century Vision Plan be secured.


The list of requests incorporated the content of the opinion paper passed by the Prefectural Assembly. In terms of U.S. base issues, the list also included the removal of the Osprey and radical revision of the Status of Forces Agreement, as well as promotion of the realignment and downsizing of U.S. military facilities and areas.



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