Yomiuri, Sankei, and Mainichi reported today that Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kuryu visited Okinawa on Sunday and held talks with Ginowan Mayor Matsugawa. They confirmed greater coordination between the central and municipal governments for the swift reversion of MCAS Futenma and the mitigation of the base burden borne by residents. Kuryu visited the island prefecture to take part today in a tripartite meeting also involving the prefectural government on reducing the footprint of the Futenma base.
Sankei added that Kuryu’s trip was one of “pilgrimages” that senior Kishida administration officials have made since October ahead of the start of the “election year” of 2022 in the island prefecture where major elections are scheduled, including the Nago mayoral race in January and the gubernatorial race in the fall. As the GOJ is desperate to elect politicians who support Futenma relocation, the visiting officials have been keen to address local concerns, including about COVID-19 infections within the U.S. military.