NAHA, OKINAWA PREF. – The mayor of Nago, the proposed Okinawa site of an airbase to replace U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, reiterated his resolve Monday to block the project.
Susumu Inamine said this in his fiscal 2013 policy speech before the city’s assembly, “I pledge to remain adamantly opposed to (the base relocation plan) until the Japanese and U.S. governments give up,” referring to the planned transfer of the Futenma flight operations, now at the base in the crowded Okinawa city of Ginowan, to Nago’s Henoko coast.
Inamine said it is important for Okinawa residents to “remain united and stand up against” the base replacement. The mayor also said he plans to visit the United States with other municipality leaders from the prefecture to convey their strong opposition to the Futenma replacement.
In late January, the heads of all 41 municipalities in Okinawa, including Inamine, directly urged Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to drop the Japan-U.S. plan to build the new airstrip at Henoko.
The state may file a land-fill application with Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima to start work on the replacement base, whose runways would extend offshore.