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Okinawa contacted the office of the U.S. secretary of defense earlier this week with proposals to relocate the contingent at U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to other parts of Japan outside the prefecture, saying there are 35 commercial airports and military facilities, from Kyushu to Hokkaido, that could serve as candidate sites.

In a letter and 27-page PowerPoint presentation sent to Mark Lippert, recently appointed chief of staff to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the Okinawa government says it’s making the proposals to avoid a disaster, in reference to the strong local opposition to replacing the Futenma base with a planned new airstrip on the Henoko coast of Nago.

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