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Nakaima calls Futenma relocation out of Okinawa 'fast' option

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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-21-10 08:33 AM
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Nakaima calls Futenma relocation out of Okinawa 'fast' option

In this Friday, Dec. 10, 2010 photo, U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS George Washington and other ships take part in "Keen Sword" U.S.-Japan joint military exercise over the Pacific Ocean.

Nakaima calls Futenma relocation out of Okinawa 'fast' option

NAHA, Japan (Kyodo) -- Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima told Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara on Tuesday that it would be "faster" to find a site outside of Okinawa to host a replacement facility for a key U.S. Marine base in the prefecture, rather than implementing the current plan to relocate the base within the southern island.

Maehara, who is visiting Okinawa for the first time in his capacity as foreign minister, met the governor at a hotel in Naha and apologized for the ruling Democratic Party of Japan's failure to fulfill its pledge during the general election campaign last year to seek to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station outside of Okinawa.

"I offer my heartfelt apology to the people of Okinawa" over the base relocation issue, Maehara said in the meeting.

The DPJ-led government gave up on its campaign pledge and reached a fresh accord with the United States in May to transfer the Futenma facility, located in a crowded residential area, to a less densely populated coastal area in the prefecture.

Nakaima said, however, that he was reelected in November for his second four-year term with a pledge to strive to move the Futenma facility out of the prefecture and told Maehara that the central government should "accept it as a promise to the people of Okinawa."
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