Marines not welcome in Hokkaido

Kyodo

Hokkaido Gov. Harumi Takahashi voiced opposition Tuesday toward a proposed transfer of U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Hokkaido.

“It would be difficult for us to accept it,” she told a news conference, after central government officials unveiled a U.S. proposal to relocate some of the 16,000 Marine Corps troops stationed in Okinawa to Hokkaido.

Takahashi said she had heard nothing about the proposal from the central government prior to the announcement.

She also said the Hokkaido government has urged Tokyo not to make permanent the use of a Ground Self-Defense Force artillery range in eastern Hokkaido by U.S. Marine units.