The central government “aims to proceed steadily” with the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa Prefecture, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said Saturday.

Matsuno made the remarks at a meeting in the prefectural capital of Naha with local officials including Taketoyo Toguchi, the mayor of Nago, where the functions of the Futenma base currently located in Ginowan are planned to be transferred.

Urging support for the the base relocation plan, Matsuno suggested that the central government will give “as much consideration as possible” to the development of local areas.

Toguchi claimed that residents in his city are already affected by existing U.S. military facilities, urging the government to continue efforts to reduce the burden of hosting the sites.

Matsuno arrived in Okinawa on Friday, visiting the prefecture for the first time since he took up his post about a month earlier.

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