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Okinawa Prefecture’s announcement Monday of a new site for heliport functions of the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station marked a significant step in the government’s efforts to solve the long-standing matter, a key issue facing Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi’s administration.

With the summit of the Group of Eight major nations slated to be held next July in Nago, Okinawa Prefecture — the very site picked for the relocation — Obuchi has been under pressure to quickly settle the relocation issue.

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