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Gist of Iwaya’s press remarks after his meeting with Okinawa Gov. Tamaki

  • December 14, 2018
  • , Okinawa Times , p. 3
  • JMH Translation

The following is the gist of a press interview with Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya after his meeting with Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki.


(Remarks at the beginning of the interview)

Iwaya: I once again explained the government’s stance on the relocation [of the Futenma facility] to Henoko and conveyed to him that the landfill work will be carried out tomorrow as scheduled, though it may depend on the weather condition. The government and the prefecture are not on the same page on the Henoko relocation, but we both acknowledge that the danger of Futenma airfield must be removed and that it must be returned to Okinawa in the end. We will continue to hold talks with the prefecture side and work tenaciously to win its understating and cooperation.


Q: The government will carry out the landfill work on Dec. 14 as scheduled. Why?


Iwaya: Up till today, Governor Tamaki has met with Prime Minister Abe and Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga. Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary [Sugita] also continued talks with the prefecture’s vice governor over the past month. We believe that we have taken a careful process [to reach this stage].


Q: Some experts point out that the ground at Henoko is soft. What’s your take on this? Will this affect the work schedule and budgets?


Iwaya: We will assess the situation comprehensively based on the results of our new boring survey. Even if the ground is found soft, this can be addressed and overcome by adopting a different method.

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