Tamaki Urges Govt. To Halt Landfill For Talks

Tamaki urges govt. to halt landfill for talks

Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki has urged the central government to suspend reclamation work on a US air station in Nago City, before holding talks about US bases with the prefecture.

The planned base will replace the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station in Ginowan City. But the prefectural government is opposed to the relocation within the prefecture.

Tamaki and Ginowan Mayor Masanori Matsugawa met Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya at the prime minister's office on Wednesday.

They discussed reducing burdens caused by the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station.

Tamaki demanded the central government suspend the landfill work for three to six months before the two sides discuss the reduction of risks from the base.

He also asked the government to set a new time frame to end operations at the Futenma base. Its initial five-year target of February this year failed to materialize.

Wednesday's meeting with top government officials was held at Tamaki's request. High-level talks on the issue had not been held for three years due to the confrontation between the central and Okinawa governments over the base relocation plan.

Tamaki later told reporters that the central government insisted on working-level talks on the issue of reducing the burdens caused by Futenma.