Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga and Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga failed to bridge their differences over the relocation plan for a contentious U.S. air base Sunday in Naha as the standoff between the central and Okinawa governments continued to roil the prefecture.

The talks are the first between Suga, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's right-hand man, and Onaga since he became governor in December with a pledge to block the plan to build a replacement facility for the base in a coastal area of Nago. The base is currently in the city of Ginowan.

At the meeting, which was partly open to reporters, Suga repeated the central government's position that the relocation plan is the "only solution" when considering several factors, including Japan's defense alliance with the United States and the need to alleviate the risk of accidents posed by the existing base.