Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Monday that the US military base in Okinawa will be relocated to this same prefecture despite criticism from local politicians and authorities.
Kishida has thus stated that he will try to gain the “understanding” and approval of the local population given the importance of relocating the Futenma Marine Corps Air Station, as sources close to the matter have explained.
Kishida is expected to go ahead with relocation plans following the agreement reached between Tokyo and Washington in 1996. However, influential politician Denny Tamaki, who is opposed to relocation to Okinawa, has succeeded in renewing his term as governor of the prefecture.
Tamaki, for his part, has insisted that his main objective as part of the election campaign is to stop the construction of a new US military installation in Okinawa, highlighting the differences between the central government and local authorities on this issue.
“It is undeniable that I have been chosen by the people who oppose the plan, which shows that the true feelings of the people of Okinawa have not changed,” he said, according to reports from the Kiodo news agency.
Tamaki has previously asserted that the region is facing strong pressure as it is home to some 70 percent of the US military installations deployed in Japan.
Source: Europa Press