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The government will submit to Okinawa Prefecture by November a rough draft of the plan for building a U.S. Marine helicopter facility offshore Nago, officials of the Defense Facilities Administration Agency said Oct. 3.The planned facility is designed to replace Futenma Air Station in Ginowan.In the wake of the Nago Municipal Assembly’s decision to set a plebiscite on the issue by Jan. 18, the officials said the agency will give Okinawa Prefecture, Nago and other municipal governments the blueprint by November to provide residents some food for thought.The final report by the Japan-U.S. Special Action Committee on Okinawa requires the two governments to formulate the implementation plan for the heliport construction no later than December. The preliminary draft is a necessary process for the central government to gain the understanding of residents, the officials said.The agency will also pay due consideration to the planned plebiscite as well as the SACO deadline in ascertaining when to unveil the rough implementation plan, they said. Taking into account local concerns for the environment, the preliminary plan will outline construction methods and the actual location and size of the sea-based heliport, they said.

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