Okinawa Head Talks To Us Lawmakers About Base Move

Okinawa head talks to US lawmakers about base moveThe governor of Okinawa has met with US lawmakers to express his opposition to a plan to relocate a US military base in the southern Japanese prefecture.
Takeshi Onaga met separately with 7 members of the US House of Representatives in closed-door sessions in Washington on Wednesday.

One lawmaker was from the Republican Party and the others were Democrats. The Democrats include members of the House Foreign Affairs or the House Armed Services Committee.

Onaga explained to them Okinawa's situation regarding the relocation of the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station. The plan calls for moving it from a densely populated area in the city of Ginowan to a coastal area in another city, Nago.

He made clear that locals are strongly opposed, and that ignoring public opinion could destabilize the Japan-US security alliance. He said the plan needs to be reviewed.

Onaga also told them he believes the necessary construction will take 10 years to complete, even if things go smoothly.

Onaga said the lawmakers indicated to him that President Donald Trump and his administration have yet to formulate foreign and security policies.

Onaga said he couldn't reveal the details of the conversations. But he said he was able to speak to many lawmakers and that he thinks Congress is flexible.