Okinawa Governor Planning Referendum In Early 2019

Okinawa governor planning referendum in early 2019

Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki is planning to hold a referendum early next year on a plan to relocate a US air base within the prefecture.

The prefecture announced an ordinance on October 31st calling for a referendum on reclaiming the coastal area of Henoko in Nago city to relocate the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station. It said the vote will be held within 6 months, or by the end of April.

Tamaki has been in the US meeting government officials to convey his opposition to the relocation plan. He spoke to reporters on Tuesday in New York.

Tamaki said he wants to hold the referendum as soon as possible, but municipalities need time to prepare.

He said he's thinking sometime between the end of January and the end of February to avoid the fiscal year-change hassle in March and April.

Four of the 41 municipalities in the prefecture have not made clear whether they will provide staff for the referendum.