Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo front-paged reports that Morimasa Goya, chairman of the Naha-based construction and retail company Kanehide Group, expressed on Tuesday his intention to step down as the head of Okinawa Governor Tamaki’s main supporters’ group at the end of this month. Goya reportedly told the papers on Tuesday that he will step down to focus on running his company, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak. Ryukyu Shimpo wrote that former Lower House member Toshinobu Nakasato is likely to succeed Goya.
The papers wrote that although Goya stressed that he will continue to support Tamaki, his departure may weaken the influence of the All-Okinawa Coalition, an organization established by opponents of the construction of “a new base” at Henoko, including Okinawa Prefectural Assembly members, labor unions, civic groups, and business people. Goya has been a symbolic representative of local business people who oppose the Henoko plan.