NAHA, Okinawa Pref. (Kyodo) In his new capacity in Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s administration, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano urged Okinawa on Friday to accept the Japan-U.S. accord struck last May to relocate U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in the prefecture.
Edano also discussed with Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima the prefecture’s economic development as well as a new law to replace the current special law on support for that development after the current law expires at the end of March 2012.
Edano’s trip was made both in his capacity as the top government spokesman and Okinawa affairs minister, posts he assumed in the Jan. 14 Cabinet reshuffle.
It was the latest in a series of recent visits by Cabinet members viewed as an attempt to demonstrate Kan’s resolve to address the relocation and other issues facing Okinawa, while the government unveils measures designed to ease the base-hosting burden on the prefecture.
But local opposition remains strong against the May accord to relocate the base within Okinawa, which hosts the bulk of U.S. forces in Japan.