NAHA, OKINAWA PREF. – The municipal assembly of Nago, Okinawa, adopted a statement by a majority vote Monday protesting Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima’s approval of offshore land fill work for a new U.S. airstrip, demanding he retract the OK.
The statement urged the governor to respect the will of the local people, as represented by Nago Mayor Susumu Inamine, who was re-elected Jan. 19 and opposes the new base, which is planned to replace U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in the city of Ginowan.
The statement also criticized Nakaima for expressing his appreciation for the central government’s pledge to curb the burden on Okinawa of hosting the bulk of U.S. military forces in Japan, saying it was “far from the consensus of the citizens of the prefecture.”
Inamine later told reporters the statement by the assembly representing local people carries great weight.
In December, Nakaima approved the central government’s plan to reclaim land off Nago’s Henoko coast for the construction of a new base to replace Futenma.
While similar protests have been adopted in Okinawa by the Naha and Kadena municipal assemblies, the prefectural assembly and that of the village of Kitanakagusuku adopted resolutions calling for the governor’s resignation.