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SECURITY > Okinawa

Foreign Minister Kono to visit Okinawa

  • November 30, 2017
  • , Okinawa Times, Ryukyu Shimpo
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Ryukyu Shimpo and Okinawa Times wrote that Foreign Minister Kono told the press on Wednesday that he will visit Okinawa on Dec. 1-2. This will be his first visit to the prefecture as foreign minister. The papers wrote that Kono plans to hold meetings with Governor Onaga, Okinawa Area Coordinator Nicholson, and local business leaders during his visit to the island prefecture. Okinawa Times speculated that Kono will discuss with the governor such issues as Futenma relocation, the U.S. military’s parachute drop training, and the recent accidents involving U.S. military aircraft. The paper also wrote that SOFA revision may be taken up as an issue for discussion with the governor because the court plans to deliver on Dec. 1 a verdict in the trial of Kenneth Franklin Shinzato, a former Marine and civilian base worker accused of assaulting and killing a local woman. The papers added that the foreign minister plans to discuss the idea of asking American schools on U.S. military bases in Okinawa to accept Japanese students and pupils in Okinawa for the purpose of improving their English-language ability. However, Ryukyu Shimpo wrote that opposition to the idea may arise in the prefecture out of concern that the arrangement could lead to the U.S. military bases’ semi-permanent presence in Okinawa.

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