Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiromu Nonaka said Monday he is ready to hold talks with Okinawa Gov. Masahide Ota without imposing any conditions.
The government’s chief spokesman, who also is in charge of Okinawa affairs, made the remarks in response to a question from Kantoku Teruya, a Social Democratic Party member from Okinawa.
During an Upper House Budget Committee meeting, Teruya asked if Nonaka has no intention to meet with Ota unless the governor accepts the central government’s proposed plan to build an offshore heliport for use by the U.S. military. He also asked if Nonaka knew that Ota had sent a lengthy telegram to former Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, expressing thanks for his efforts to resolve the Okinawa issue.
Speaking at a news conference Aug. 6, Nonaka criticized Ota for not paying enough tribute to Hashimoto, who had made strenuous efforts for Okinawa, and refused to meet with Okinawa Deputy Gov. Hiroshi Miyahira.
Nonaka said the governor should have visited Hashimoto during his last two weeks in office, rather than sending his deputy upon the inauguration of the new Cabinet.
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