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Japan, U.S. reconfirm relocation to Henoko is “only solution”

  • November 7, 2017
  • , Tokyo Shimbun , p. 3
  • JMH Translation

At their meeting on Nov. 6, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to “promote the reorganization of U.S. Forces in Japan” in regard to the construction of a new base in Nago City’s Henoko district for the relocation of the U.S. military’s Futenma Air Station. The document issued by the Japanese and U.S. governments after the meeting states that the two leaders “confirmed that Henoko is the only solution.” That same day, the Japanese government initiated the construction of a new seawall in Henoko, and the opposition parties have protested it, saying it “ignores the people’s sentiment.”

 

At a press conference, Japanese Communist Party leader Kazuo Shii stated emphatically, “We strongly protest the government’s action of initiating construction. It is illegal.” Citing the victory by the anti-base candidates over the LDP candidate in three of the four Okinawan constituencies in the Lower House election, Shii said, “The people’s sentiment is very clear and [the construction of seawall] ignores this sentiment.”

 

Social Democratic Party Secretary-general Seiji Mataichi issued a remark, in which he criticized the construction, saying, “It almost seems like a gift for Mr. Trump. This rides roughshod over the people’s sentiments and is unforgivable.”

 

In contrast, Natsuo Yamaguchi, leader of the junior ruling coalition party of Komeito, said to a group of reporters, “(The construction) is part of the plan. It should be carefully carried out in a way that elicits Okinawa’s understanding.”

 

 

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