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2014 February 12 - 18 [OKINAWA]

Nago mayor conveys to Kennedy local opposition to base construction

February 14, 2014
Okinawa’s Nago mayor on February 12, in talks with U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy on her visit to the prefecture, made a request for her to convey to President Obama Okinawan citizens’ opposition to the relocation of the U.S. Futenma base to the city’s Henoko district.

The talks took place in a Naha hotel at the U.S. request.

After the talks, when questioned by reporters, Mayor Inamine Susumu said that when he urged the ambassador to impart to the president Nago residents’ strong intent to continue to oppose the base relocation, she replied that she understands the situation.

He also reported that he explained to Kennedy that he won his second term in the January mayoral election by promising to fight against the relocation and that the sea areas off the Henoko district are richly endowed with nature.

On the following day, Inamine held press conferences at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan and the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo.

The mayor said that if the national government forcibly moves ahead with the construction of a new base in Henoko as an alternative to the Futenma base, he will reject all base construction-related requests, such as requests for using city-controlled land.

Inamine also announced his plan to visit the United States in April in order to increase U.S. citizens’ awareness of the base burdens imposed on Okinawans.
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