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SECURITY > Okinawa

Newly elected parliamentarian from Okinawa hints at alternative ideas for Futenma

  • April 23, 2019
  • , Okinawa Times, Ryukyu Shimpo
  • JMH Summary

Ryukyu Shimpo front-paged its one-on-one interview with Tomohiro Yara, who won a seat in the No. 3 district in Okinawa in the Lower House by-election on Sunday. When asked whether he has specific ideas for stopping the FRF construction at Henoko, Yara told the paper: “Concerning the number of aircraft the U.S. Marines in Okinawa need, Mike Mochizuki, an associate professor at George Washington University, has said it’s five or six. If helipads were built at Camp Schwab or Camp Hansen, it would be possible to close MCAS Futenma within a few years. No one has raised such specific ideas like this for discussion.”

 

Okinawa Times also ran a one-on-one interview with Yara in which he said he plans to visit the United States in May. Insisting that it is the Japanese government that has allowed the base-hosting burden to be concentrated in Okinawa by citing the strategic location of the prefecture, Yara was quoted as saying: “I need to confirm that the United States is claiming that Marines cannot function unless they are stationed in Okinawa.”

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