Okinawa 1988-1991

Okinawa 1988-1991

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Okinawa governor rejects US base relocation plan

The governor of Japan's southern island of Okinawa on Saturday rejected a compromise plan to relocate a US Marine base, raising a fresh hurdle to wrapping up an overall deal on reorganizing US military forces in Japan.

Okinawa governor Keiichi Inamine said he had told Defense Minister Fukushiro Nukaga he would not accept the government's proposal to relocate the US Marines' Futenma air base on the subtropical island, about 1,600 km (1,000 miles) south of Tokyo.

"In order to maintain the solid Japan-US structure, it is essential to secure social and political stability in Okinawa," Inamine told reporters after holding talks with Nukaga.

The governor's rejection follows an agreement on Friday between the central government and a rural city on Okinawa to relocate the US Marine base.

Inamine can legally block the relocation plan because he has the authority over the use of the ocean where the central government wants to relocate the base.

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