Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says the government's plan to relocate a US military base in Okinawa to another location within the prefecture will not be affected by the results of the gubernatorial election on September 30th.
Suga was speaking to reporters on Thursday as official campaigning in the race to pick the successor of the late governor Takeshi Onaga kicked off.
Suga said candidates will explain to voters what they have done and what they will do to develop the regional economy and raise people's standard of living, adding that it is voters that will make the final decision.
Suga said he believes voters will choose whoever they think is the most suitable to promote the development of the prefecture.
Suga was asked if the election results could affect the base relocation plan, and he said the crux of the issue is to remove the dangers posed by the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station.
The station is located in the middle of residential areas and often described as the most dangerous in the world.
He stressed that the government will remain committed to seeking the relocation of the base and the return of the land to local owners at the earliest possible date.