The newly installed minister of state for Okinawa affairs says the prefecture's residents deserve a full breakdown of the government's rationale for relocating a contentious U.S. military base from the crowded city of Ginowan to the coastal district of Henoko in Nago.

"I believe we will have to make continued efforts to fully explain to the people of Okinawa the government's efforts to reduce the base-hosting burden, including the transfer" of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to a less populated area of the island, minister Mitsuhiro Miyakoshi said in an interview this week with media outlets, including The Japan Times.

Miyakoshi's comments come amid a widening rift between the central government and the prefecture.