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SECURITY > Okinawa

GOJ says setting new deadline for ending Futenma operations “difficult”

  • September 5, 2019
  • , Asahi, Nikkei, Sankei
  • JMH Summary

Asahi wrote that the GOJ and the Okinawa Prefectural Government held working-level talks to discuss how to reduce the base-hosting burden on Okinawa at the prefectural government office on Wednesday. The paper wrote that although the Okinawa government asked the central government to set a new deadline for ending operations at MCAS Futenma, the GOJ reportedly replied that it would be difficult to set a target date because the work to relocate the Futenma functions has not been proceeding as scheduled. The paper noted that the GOJ agreed with then-Okinawa Governor Nakaima in February 2014 that operations at Futenma would end in five years and that this goal was not achieved. Referring to the repeated incidents and accidents involving the U.S. military, Okinawa Vice Governor Jahana, who attended the meeting, told reporters afterward that Okinawa wants the GOJ to end operations at Futenma as soon as possible regardless of the progress in the construction of the replacement facility. An unnamed GOJ official was quoted as telling Asahi that Tokyo agreed to set a deadline five years ago because there was an understanding between Prime Minister Abe and Governor Nakaima that the GOJ and the Okinawa Prefecture would work together to move forward with Futenma relocation, adding that the situation today is different from five years ago.

 

Nikkei and Sankei also reported on the consultations between the GOJ and Okinawa. Sankei wrote that the two sides failed to narrow their differences, as the central government is growing increasingly displeased with the prefectural government’s continued actions to file lawsuits over the FRF construction at Henoko.

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