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Ichida criticizes chief cabinet secretaryfs remarks as disregarding Nago citizenfs will

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi on January 25 at a news conference criticized Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano Hirofumifs remarks by saying, gThe government doesnft take into account the Nago City mayoral election result.h

Ichida said, gThe key issue of the Nago mayoral election was the plan to construct a new U.S. base in the Henoko district and voters passed a eNof verdict on the plan. Hiranofs remarks violently disregard Nago citizenfs will.h

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Following the fact that Inamine Susumu who opposes the base construction won the mayoral election in Nago City, Okinawa on January 24, Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio on the next day expressed his intention to find a relocation site for the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station without excluding the current plan, while he considered the election result as gone of Nago residentfs voicing their opinion.h

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano Hirofumi said, when the government seeks a place to relocate the Futenma base, gThe government doesnft take into account the mayoral election result. The government wonft exclude the current plan, but will search for the best place from a clean slate.h This showed that he is ignoring Nago votersf verdict. Regarding the environmental impact assessment in the Henoko district conducted by the defense ministry based on the current relocation plan, Hirano said, gI donft think the government will stop the assessment.h

Defense Minister Kitazawa Toshimi stated, gThe government should seriously consider the election result.h Maehara Seiji, State Minister in Charge of Okinawa, commented, gThe mayoral election wasnft a referendum over whether to accept the plan to relocate the Futenma base to the Henoko district.h

- Akahata, January 26, 2010

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