Okinawa Gov. Keiichi Inamine will visit the United States from Sunday to May 26 to discuss the burden of hosting U.S. military bases in the prefecture.
Inamine told his plan to two senior vice foreign ministers Thursday at the Foreign Ministry and sought government assistance for his visit, a ministry official said.
The trip will be his first to the U.S. since being elected governor in December 1998.
Inamine said he will explain the demands the prefecture is making on Tokyo to U.S. officials, including its request for a 15-year time limit on the U.S. military’s use of a new airport to be constructed in Nago, northern Okinawa.
Senior Vice Minister Shigeo Uetake said the government is aware Okinawa’s problems and is ready to cooperate with the prefecture.
The governor is scheduled to visit Washington from Sunday to May 19 and meet with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Thomas Foley and other officials.
He will then go to New York, San Jose, Calif., and Honolulu to talk to businesses, the official said.
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