Hatoyama to revisit Okinawa around May 23
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Last Updated: Wednesday, May 12, 2010, 13:50
Tokyo: Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama is planning to revisit Okinawa, possibly on May 23 over the relocation of a US Marine base in the prefecture, sources said.

In the upcoming meeting with Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima, Hatoyama is expected to seek acceptance from the governor for a government plan to transfer most functions of the US Marine Corps' Futemma Air Station within the prefecture, the sources said.

The premier visited Okinawa on May 4 but failed to win over local leaders.

Hatoyama told reporters in the evening that even though a specific date for his next trip to Okinawa has not been fixed yet, he wishes to revisit the prefecture soon to learn about the views of local residents.

He also said Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano will visit the city of Kagoshima in southwestern Japan on Wednesday to meet with local assembly members of Tokunoshima Island, located about 200 kilometers northeast of Okinawa.

To alleviate the burden on Okinawa from hosting the bulk of the US military presence in Japan, the government aims to transfer some drills conducted at Futemma to Tokunoshima Island, according to government sources.

Hirano will hold talks with Tokunoshima politicians who favor the relocation of some drills held at Futemma to the island, sources close to the matter said.


First Published: Wednesday, May 12, 2010, 13:50

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