Okinawa 1988-1991

Okinawa 1988-1991

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 Transfer of 7,000 Marines from Okinawa to Guam hinges on Futenma relocation plan

Transfer of 7,000 Marines from Okinawa to Guam hinges on Futenma relocation plan

Washington set up a potential showdown between Tokyo and Okinawa Governor Keiichi Inamine by saying the transfer of 7,000 Marines from the prefecture depends on the planned relocation of the Futenma base, officials said.

Inamine has expressed his determination to reject the plan to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, currently in Ginowan, to a U.S. military heliport to be built partly on U.S. Marines Camp Schwab land in Nago's Henoko district, and partly offshore.

That means the central government will likely face a stumbling block in Okinawa Prefecture in its efforts to compile a final report by March on U.S. troop realignment in Japan.

In a related story:

just in case you thought this was a new idea, Governor Ota rejected this back in 1998.

Okinawa Governor Ota rejects U.S. heliport project
Posted: February 13, 1998

The governor of Japan's southern island prefecture of Okinawa, Masahide Ota, announced his opposition to the construction of a U.S. offshore heliport, formally at a news conference on Friday.

"Okinawa has decided not to accept the government's proposal," stated Ota.

Tokyo would like to construct the offshore heliport in a secluded location to replace a U.S. air station that is located in an municipal part of the island in conjunction with a deal negotiated with Washington to diminish American military presence in Okinawa.

An overwhelming vote against the heliport in a non-restrictive referendum, by residents of Nago last December, caused the resignation of Nago Mayor Tetsuya Higa, after expressing his support of the project.


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