Okinawa Gov Hirokazu Nakaima and Nago Mayor Susumu Inamine have expressed reservations over Wednesday's announcement by the U.S. and Japanese governments to proceed with plans to transfer thousands of U.S. troops from Okinawa, leaving unresolved the fate of the contentious U.S. Marine base at Futenma.
Nakaima welcomed the agreement to move ahead with the Marines' relocation and a return of some of the bases as serving "Okinawans' desire to reduce the U.S. military presence," but repeated his rejection to move Futenma to another location on the island.
"A relocation without local consent would be impossible. We want Futenma moved out of Okinawa," Nakaima said in a statement.
He added Thursday that he will wait until he sees more details about the plan -- which he said was vague on specifics -- before issuing further statements.
Meanwhile, in Washington, Nago Mayor Inamine said the plan was totally unacceptable because it ignores the wishes of the Okinawan people. Inamine is in Washington to explain his views on the Futenma issue to U.S. government officials. He said the Futenma base has to be moved out of the prefecture.
Inamine added the the people of Nago are not going to change their mind on this issue. He said that the central government in Tokyo has ignored the feelings of the Okinawan people all along.© Japan Today/AP