In Sunday’s NHK “Nichiyo Toron” talk show, senior Upper House officials from the ruling and opposition camps exchanged views on a range of policy issues, including the results of the recent Okinawa referendum on the FRF construction, ahead of the start of the deliberation of the FY2019 budget legislation at the upper chamber. On the strong opposition to the base realignment initiative demonstrated in the plebiscite, opposition representatives called for the Abe administration to respect the results and cancel the relocation plan. They also insisted that building a massive structure on the soft seabed off Camp Schwab is not technically feasible. Ruling officials said in response that the existing plan is the only viable option to prevent Futenma Air Station from remaining in its current location permanently while maintaining the deterrence of the U.S.-Japan security alliance. They underscored the Abe administration’s commitment to reducing the security burden on Okinawa.