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
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.