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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 April 1 - 7  > Onaga restates opposition to Henoko base construction in talks with top gov’t spokesman
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2015 April 1 - 7 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Onaga restates opposition to Henoko base construction in talks with top gov’t spokesman

April 6, 2015
Okinawa Governor Onaga Takeshi on April 5 conveyed Okinawans’ strong opposition to a new U.S. base construction in the prefecture’s Henoko district to Chief Cabinet Secretary Seuga Yoshihide in their meeting in Naha City.

It was the first talks held between the two since Onaga won the gubernatorial election in November last year. Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s cabinet had been refusing to meet with Onaga because he has pledged to block the plan to build a new military facility in the coastal area near Nago City.

At the one-hour meeting, Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga explained that the base construction in the sea off Henoko is the “only solution” to eliminate risks posed by the U.S. Futenma base which is located in the center of Ginowan City.

“Okinawans have never offered their land to be used as bases on their own will. Their land was forcibly taken after the 1945 Battle of Okinawa,” said the governor, who went on to say, “While continuing to impose hardships on Okinawans, you say we should shoulder another base burden in order to remove Futenma’s risks if we cannot come up with an alternative plan. I must say this shows the corruption of politics.”

Onaga expressed, “I am convinced that the construction of a new base in Henoko is absolutely impossible.”

In response to Suga who said that there are also supporters of the base relocation plan among Okinawan residents, Onaga stated that whether or not voters supported former Governor Nakaima Hirokazu’s approval of a landfill work in Henoko was the only major issue in the gubernatorial election last year, and Onaga won in a landslide by obtaining about 100,000 more votes than Nakaima.

The chief cabinet secretary has continuously stated that the central government will continue to “steadily” promote the landfill project. Onaga told Suga at the meeting, “The more you use the word ‘steadily’, the more people of Okinawa will lose their trust in the central government and the angrier they will be.”

Onaga stated that he wants to have continuous dialogue with the state as well as talks with the prime minister.

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