Japanese defense minister unconfident over gaining Okinawa consent on Futenma issue

21:37, June 09, 2010      

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Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa said Wednesday he is not sure if the newly-formed government could get consent of Okinawa Prefecture on the Japan-U.S. accord to relocate a key U.S. base within the prefecture.

At a press conference, Kitazawa said, "I do not necessarily think that we can fully gain the consent of Okinawa by the end of August."

At his first press conference as premier at the prime minister' s office Tuesday, Japan's new Prime Minister Naoto Kan said that he will adhere to the recent Japan-U.S. accord to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station within Okinawa Prefecture, and maintain the Japan-U.S. alliance as the cornerstone of Japan's foreign policies and strengthen relations with Asian and other countries.

On May 28, Japan and the United States issued a joint statement on the relocation of a U.S. Marine Corps base in Okinawa, saying that the air base will be moved to the less crowded Henoko coast, Nago City within the southern prefecture.

The two countries are expected to decide by late August on details of the relocation issue.

Source: Xinhua


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