Iwaya Plans To Visit Okinawa Soon For Talks

Iwaya plans to visit Okinawa soon for talks

Japan's defense minister plans to visit Okinawa soon to discuss with the prefecture's governor the planned move of the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station.

Takeshi Iwaya told reporters on Tuesday that he wants to meet Governor Denny Tamaki in Okinawa as soon as possible. Defense ministry sources say he plans to hold the meeting this week.

Iwaya said he wants to thoroughly explain the government's position that removing dangers posed by the base and achieving its return to Japan is the core of the issue. Futenma is in a densely populated residential area.

Japan's government intends to build an alternative airfield in the Henoko district of Nago City, also in Okinawa, to relocate the Futenma Air Station.

But Okinawa's government opposes the move. In August, it revoked a landfill permit to block the plan.

The land minister later issued an injunction to suspend the permit revocation. Last Thursday, after 2 months of suspension, the defense ministry resumed reclamation work in Henoko.

Okinawa's government is reacting sharply to the restart.