The two major Okinawa papers highlighted a remark made to the press on Thursday by Okinawa Affairs Minister Kono stressing that the economic development of Okinawa is closely connected to U.S. base issues. “We cannot discuss the development of Okinawa without addressing the base issues,” Kono said. He stressed that he intends to evaluate past spending programs for the island economy and said U.S. military installations could be tapped as a “resource” for enabling local students to learn English. Kono also disclosed that he will visit Naha on Saturday for talks with Governor Tamaki.
The two dailies also took up new Defense Minister Kishi’s press remarks underscoring the Suga administration’s commitment to implementing the plan to build the Futenma replacement facility off Camp Schwab since it is the “only viable option” to concurrently maintain the deterrence of the U.S.-Japan alliance and remove the danger associated with MCAS Futenma.