The Governor of Okinawa, Denny Tamaki has asked Foreign Minister Taro Kono to suspend the landfill work for the relocation of a US air station within the prefecture. Kono asked the governor for his understanding.
The two met at the prefectural office on Saturday and discussed the relocation of the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station in Ginowan City to the less populated Henako district in Nago City.
Tamaki said the will of the people must be taken seriously. In a referendum in February, a majority of voters in Okinawa opposed the landfill work.
Tamaki asked the central government to suspend it immediately and start a dialogue with the prefecture.
Kono sought his understanding by saying that he will try to reduce the burden on Okinawa of hosting US military installations, as instructed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Kono is in Okinawa to attend a ceremony on Sunday to remember the victims of the fierce ground battle there in the closing days of World War Two.