NAHA, OKINAWA PREF. – Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima said Saturday he is considering running for a third term and will make a final decision soon.
Nakaima, 74, told local chiefs and assembly members who support another run in the Nov. 16 election that he was pleased to have their backing but wants “a little more time” to make up his mind.
He told the officials at a meeting in Naha, the prefectural capital, that his decision to allow landfill work to build a replacement facility for U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in densely populated Ginowan was appropriate and realistic to make progress in reducing the U.S. base footprint in Okinawa. The facility is scheduled to be moved to an offshore location in Nago but has been delayed for nearly two decades.
Chiefs of 20, or about a half, of municipalities in Okinawa were at the meeting.
Local lawmakers opposed to relocating Futenma within the prefecture as agreed to between Tokyo and Washington have been urging Naha Mayor Takeshi Onaga, 63, to run for governor.