WASHINGTON – Japan and the United States plan to hold talks soon to discuss a response to the court settlement reached between the central government and Okinawa Prefecture over the relocation of U.S. Futenma air base, a U.S. government spokesman said.
“We understand the Japanese government made its decision after careful consideration,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said at a news conference Friday, referring to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s acceptance of the settlement with the prefecture.
“We look forward to further discussions with them about this soon,” Kirby said.
Tokyo and Washington are expected to confer on the possible impact that could result from the halting construction work for a replacement base to be built along Okinawa’s Henoko coastal area, as agreed to in the settlement, and the overall schedule for U.S. military realignment in the Asia-Pacific region, including the transfer of Marines from Okinawa to Guam.
Kirby underscored that both countries “remain committed to the plan” to build a replacement facility at Henoko for U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan.
“It is the only solution that … avoids the continued use of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma,” he stressed.