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SECURITY > Okinawa

CCS Suga links FRF construction at Henoko to relocation of U.S. Marines to Guam

  • October 11, 2018
  • , Okinawa Times, Ryukyu Shimpo
  • JMH Summary

Okinawa Times front-paged a report saying that Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga expressed the view at a regular press briefing on Wednesday that the Futenma base’s relocation to Henoko is effectively linked to the planned transfer of U.S. Marines to Guam. The paper wrote that Suga apparently urged the Okinawa Prefectural Government to accept the FRF construction at Henoko by hinting at the possibility of the Marines’ planned relocation to Guam being delayed. The chief cabinet secretary was quoted as saying: “Futenma relocation lost direction when the government led by the former Democratic Party of Japan insisted on the idea of relocating the base out of Okinawa. The U.S. Congress stopped authorizing spending for relocating Okinawa Marines to Guam during that period. The freeze was completely lifted after tangible progress was made on FRF construction following former Okinawa Governor Nakaima’s issuance of a landfill permit for the Henoko construction under the Abe administration.” The paper noted that the U.S. government and the Japanese government under the now-defunct Democratic Party of Japan agreed in 2012 that Washington and Tokyo will move forward with Marines’ transfer to Guam separately from Futenma relocation. Suga reportedly said that the GOJ has no plan to review this agreement. Ryukyu Shimpo ran a similar inside-page report speculating that Suga was expressing the view that delays in the Henoko project may affect the planned transfer of U.S. Marines to Guam.

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