WASHINGTON (Kyodo) U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense Wallace Gregson is planning to visit Okinawa later this month to address the thorny issue of relocating a U.S. military base, bilateral diplomatic sources said Tuesday.

Gregson, who is in charge of Asian and Pacific security affairs and known as an Okinawa expert, is expected to meet with Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima, who is calling for relocating U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma out of Okinawa.

Gregson will represent the United States together with Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell in high-level talks with Japanese officials in Tokyo in early March and travel to Okinawa after visiting South Korea, the sources said.

In Okinawa last year, those who want to see Futenma relocated outside the prefecture won victories in local elections.

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