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Okinawa governor expresses concern over possible increase in security burden

Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo highlighted the agreement reached between President Biden and Prime Minister Kishida during their bilateral talks on Monday in Tokyo. According to the papers, the leaders agreed that their nations will steadily move forward with U.S. forces realignment, including the Futenma Air Station’s relocation to Henoko as the only option to prevent the facility from remaining in its current location permanently. Ryukyu Shimpo quoted Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kihara as telling the press that the two leaders discussed Futenma relocation in the context of reducing the overall base-hosting burden.

 

The papers wrote that Okinawa Governor Tamaki commented on the agreement reached between President Biden and PM Kishida to strengthen deterrence by saying in a statement that the moves to strengthen deterrence should not lead to an increased burden on Okinawa, which is still shouldering an excessive base-hosting burden even 50 years after its reversion. Concerning the two leaders’ agreement to strengthen the United States’ extended deterrence and Japan’s plans to fundamentally boost its defense capabilities, the governor said that Okinawa must not become a target of attack because it hosts U.S. bases.

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