PM to visit Okinawa on Saturday

TOKYO —

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is planning to visit Okinawa on Saturday to try and win understanding from local government officials for relocating the U.S. Marine Corps’ air base from Futenma to Henoko.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Abe would exchange views with Okinawa Gov Hirokazu Nakaima and the mayors of Futenma and Henoko.

However, Abe is likely to run into opposition. Over the last three years, prime ministers, defense ministers and other central government officials have made trips to Okinawa one after the other to try and convince locals to accept the relocation plan. Nakaima has expressed frustration that Tokyo never listens to the wishes of locals.

This week, political leaders from Okinawa and their supporters staged a protest rally in Hibiya Park in Tokyo against the heavy U.S. military presence in their prefecture, but were unable to meet Abe.

Abe, who advocates close security ties with the United States, has said his government will stick to the original agreement to move the base from Futenma to Henoko. That agreement was reached in 2006 when Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party was in power.

Japan Today/AFP

  • 0

    Yubaru

    Please don't come, it's supposed to be nice weather weather down here and I dont want to have to deal with the traffic when you get here!

  • 1

    TheDevilsAssistant

    visit Okinawa on Saturday to try and win understanding from local government officials for relocating the U.S. Marine Corps’ air base from Futenma to Henoko.

    said his government will stick to the original agreement to move the base from Futenma to Henoko.

    Sounds like an Oxymoron to me.

    So what's the real reeason for vusiting Okinawa? Wasting Japan Tax dollars? His minds already made up, it seems.

  • 1

    YuriOtani

    Not going to happen the Governor will not sign off on it and there is nothing Honest Abe can do to force him!

  • 0

    Yubaru

    Not going to happen the Governor will not sign off on it and there is nothing Honest Abe can do to force him!

    No he can't but he can change the rules to make it a moot point and in comparison to changing the constitution this would be a minor and insignificant thing for Abe and the LDP to do.

  • 0

    Smart Judge

    Okinawa is better off to spin off from Japan and go independent as a separate country. It will have a freedom to build political tie with China to develop tourism and better economy. Okinawa is not in Japan's high economic strategies other than as a military base to Japan and to US. It will stand to be a war zone if there will be a war between Japan and China. US military presence in Okinawa is nothing but bringing more business to red light district.

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