shares our view that the Japan-U.S. security treaty is necessary. I think we can (settle the matter) through discussions,” Nukaga said.

Inamine said he appreciates the central government’s efforts in the ongoing Japan-U.S talks to reduce the presence of U.S. military forces in Okinawa, including the proposed transfer of 8,000 marines to Guam.

“Therefore, we have decided to continue talks” with the central government, he said.

The Okinawa Prefectural Government had agreed to an earlier plan to build the alternative airport far off the coast of Cape Henoko on the condition that the new airport facility would offer joint use for civilian airlines and would be closed within 15 years after it opens.

The central government abandoned that plan and agreed with the U.S. in October on building closer to the coast. Preparatory work for the offshore project was being blocked by environmental activists.

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