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Central govt, Okinawa at odds over Futenma base

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration and the Okinawa prefectural government remained apart on Tuesday over the planned relocation of a key U.S. base within the prefecture.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga and Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki had a meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo on the day, following the restart last week of work related to land reclamation in the Henoko coastal district in Nago, Okinawa, for the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station.

During the meeting, Suga stressed that the central government will continue the base relocation work, while Tamaki, who was elected Okinawa governor in late September, clarified his position against the construction of a Henoko replacement facility for the Futenma base, now in Ginowan.

Tamaki told Suga that the prefecture is now ready to request an internal affairs ministry-affiliated third-party committee for settling national-local disputes to examine the central government action.

At the same time, the governor proposed that the state and the prefecture hold talks until the end of this month to resolve this issue and that the base relocation work be suspended during the talks.

Suga agreed to hold the talks, but rejected the suspension of the Henoko work.Speech

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