Naha: Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima told Japan`s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano no Saturday that prefectural residents are insistent that the US Marine Corps` Futemma Air Station be relocated outside the prefecture.
"Prefectural residents hope to see the air station moved outside of the prefecture. Please do answer" their call, Nakaima told Hirano during their meeting at the Okinawa prefectural government office, officials accompanying the top government spokesman said.
After the meeting with Hirano, Nakaima told reporters that he has no thoughts at all of studying Shimoji Island or Ie Island in the prefecture as a possible relocation site, as has been considered.
Hirano, who chairs a new government panel on the issue, flew to the prefecture yesterday to hear the opinions of the local government and prefectural residents on the matter.
Hirano told the governor that the central government is making efforts to reach a conclusion by May, they said.
Nakaima also reiterated the prefecture`s call for reviewing the 1960 Japan-US Status of Forces Agreement and for taking tentative measures such as moving some training programs at the US air station to other sites before the eventual relocation.
As for the review of the status of forces agreement, Hirano said the central government has been discussing it with the United States "based on a relationship of trust," according to the officials.