Liberal Democratic Party Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai made on Sept. 13-14 his first visit to Okinawa since taking up his new post. On Sept. 14 he also met with Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga, who is at loggerheads with the central government over the relocation of U.S. Marines Air Station Futenma. During the meeting, he accepted a letter of request from Onaga and stated, “I will make utmost efforts for the development of Okinawa.” Onaga told reporters, “This is what our ties with the Kantei should have been like.”
Nikai toured the sites where the Naha New Port Terminal will be expanded to moor cruise ships and a football stadium will be built. The local people have been calling for these projects. He told Okinawa Vice Governor Mitsuo Ageda, “Now is the time to put these into action.” The people who accompanied him noted “This could be a souvenir from Nikai.”
Up until now, policies related to Okinawa have been all handled by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga. Both Nikai and Suga are influential lawmakers in the government. Some people in the LDP Okinawa chapter are voicing concern over who they should talk to first.