Newly appointed Chief Cabinet Secretary Hidenao Nakagawa said Wednesday he will pay a two-day visit to Okinawa starting this Friday to meet local political leaders and check out the venue for the July 21-23 Group of Eight summit.
Nakagawa, who concurrently serves as director general of the Okinawa Development Agency, will meet with Okinawa Gov. Keiichi Inamine and Nago Mayor Tateo Kishimoto during the visit, he told a morning press conference.
His predecessor, Mikio Aoki, will accompany the tour Friday, he added.
Meanwhile, Nakagawa expressed deep regret over the arrest earlier this week of a drunken U.S. Marine who allegedly sneaked into an unlocked house in Okinawa and molested a 14-year-old girl early Monday morning.
“The Japanese government will ask the U.S. side at every possible opportunity to do its utmost to build a relationship of mutual trust with local residents,” he said.
Regarding the planned relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station in central Okinawa to a site near Camp Schwab in the north, Nakagawa said the government will continue seeking a solution to Okinawa’s demands for a 15-year time limit on the U.S. military’s use of the new facility.
While the government recognizes that the “international situation” is a key factor in discussing the matter, it would also take seriously locals’ requests, he said.