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Japan: Okinawan governor to voice military base issue during official US visit03:09

Japan: Okinawan governor to voice military base issue during official US visit

Japan, Tokyo
November 9, 2018 at 17:07 GMT +00:00 · Published

The newly-elected Governor of Japan's Okinawa Prefecture, Denny Tamaki, said he will bring up the island's concerns over its US military presence when he visits Washington next week, while speaking at a press conference in Tokyo on Friday.

Tamaki, who was born to a Japanese mother and a US marine, said he wanted to see Tokyo and Washington spread the burden of hosting US troops more evenly across Japan, saying that while Okinawa "is only 0.6 percent of the total territory of Japan, 70.3 percent of the US military presence is based in Okinawa," Tamaki said.

He did add, however, that "overall, I am in support of the structure, or the security relationship, between Japan and the United States."

In particular, the Governor voiced the concern of the relocation of the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to Henoko, which he said "cannot be allowed," and that "Preparation is now underway for an Okinawan people's referendum regarding this new construction."

The governor will meet with local politicians and journalists in Washington and New York, in the hope that his mixed background will help him persuade the Americans to listen to Okinawans' requests.

Many locals have long been protesting the US military presence in Okinawa, with complaints of crime, accidents, and the environmental impact on the island.

Japan: Okinawan governor to voice military base issue during official US visit03:09
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The newly-elected Governor of Japan's Okinawa Prefecture, Denny Tamaki, said he will bring up the island's concerns over its US military presence when he visits Washington next week, while speaking at a press conference in Tokyo on Friday.

Tamaki, who was born to a Japanese mother and a US marine, said he wanted to see Tokyo and Washington spread the burden of hosting US troops more evenly across Japan, saying that while Okinawa "is only 0.6 percent of the total territory of Japan, 70.3 percent of the US military presence is based in Okinawa," Tamaki said.

He did add, however, that "overall, I am in support of the structure, or the security relationship, between Japan and the United States."

In particular, the Governor voiced the concern of the relocation of the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to Henoko, which he said "cannot be allowed," and that "Preparation is now underway for an Okinawan people's referendum regarding this new construction."

The governor will meet with local politicians and journalists in Washington and New York, in the hope that his mixed background will help him persuade the Americans to listen to Okinawans' requests.

Many locals have long been protesting the US military presence in Okinawa, with complaints of crime, accidents, and the environmental impact on the island.

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