Following the resignation of Okinawa Vice Governor Mitsuo Ageda over his alleged influence-peddling in the hiring of teachers, the government is closely monitoring how this will impact the base issue. Ageda served as a middleman between Okinawa and the Prime Minister’s Office in negotiations over the base issue. Governor Takeshi Onaga will take a big hit from the departure of his close aide, but some people inside the central government are voicing concerns that “Onaga may become more assertive after losing the person who worked as a conduit to the government.”
One senior government official pointed out that “the resignation of the influential vice governor may weaken the government of Onaga.” At the same time, the person expressed concern that coordination with the prefectural authorities may hit a snag. In December, the central government resumed relocation work of the U.S. Futenma air station off the coast of Henoko, Nago. The government is growing wary, as Onaga is poised to hamper the relocation by making use of his authority as governor.