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Ambassador to Okinawa says ending Futenma operations by February 2019 to be difficult

  • March 31, 2017
  • , Okinawa Times, Ryukyu Shimpo
  • JMH Summary

Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo reported on a meeting on Thursday between Ambassador to Okinawa Kawata and a group of prefectural assembly members. In response to the local legislators’ request for the suspension of operations at MCAS Futenma by February 2019, the deadline requested by former Governor Nakaima when he granted permission for the landfill work in 2013, Kawata stated that the commitment will be fulfilled only when the prefectural government cooperates with Tokyo in moving forward with the FRF construction at Henoko. Referring to Prime Minister Abe’s Diet remarks last month that it will be difficult to achieve the plan to end operations at MCAS Futenma by February 2019 because Okinawa Governor Onaga has not been cooperative, the ambassador stated that progress on the Henoko project is a prerequisite for ending Futenma operations. However, the assembly members reacted strongly by saying that no precondition was attached to the plan to end operations at Futenma.

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