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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Kan to be in Okinawa on Dec. 17 and 18 "to apologize" / Sengoku asking Okinawans to accept Henoko base

Chief Cabinet Secretary Sengoku
Yoshito at Press Conference on 13 -
from Mainichi Shimbun
Prime Minister Kan Naoto is heading to Okinawa on December 17 and 18.

Kan is reported as saying, "I will apologize properly to Okinawans where it's necessary to apologize," for the fact that DPJ could not deliver its promise to move the Futenma Air Station outside of the Prefecture.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Sengoku on December 13 said to the press, "Our security concerns require deepening of Japan-US alliance and Japan-South Korea collaboration. From this perspective, we will have to ask Okinawans to accept this (base burden)."

Sengoku also said, "We would like to faithfully implement the Japan-US agreement" to build a "replacement" base in Henoko. "As Yamatonchu (Japanese), we have imposed military bases on Okinawans," "but we cannot eliminate those bases in Okinawa overnight."

Does Sengoku mean that since we cannot eliminate Okinawa bases overnight, we might as well add another base there?

It is simply unacceptable.

PeacePhilosopher

Related news below.

Kan to visit Okinawa on Friday to discuss U.S. base relocation issue
http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/kan-to-visit-okinawa-on-friday-to-discuss-u-s-base-relocation-issue

Monday 13th December, 01:00 PM JST

NAHA —

Prime Minister Naoto Kan will make a two-day visit to Okinawa Prefecture from Friday, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Tetsuro Fukuyama said Monday, as the central government tries to make headway on the issue of relocating a U.S. Marine base.

Fukuyama made the announcement to reporters while on a trip to Okinawa to lay the groundwork for Kan’s visit, which aims to discuss the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station within the prefecture.

Kan faces a challenge in securing local acceptance of the relocation plan, which was agreed in May by Tokyo and Washington, in light of the reelection late last month of Okinawa Gov Hirokazu Nakaima, who is opposed to the plan.

Nakaima, during his meeting with Fukuyama and Kinya Takino, the other deputy chief cabinet secretary, appealed to the central government to drastically reduce the prefecture’s burden of hosting U.S. military bases.

In Tokyo, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku said at a news conference that the government is making arrangements to convene in the coming weeks a council tasked with the future development of Okinawa Prefecture and alleviating the burden of hosting bases.

On how the government will find a way to break the deadlock between Okinawa and the central government over the base issue, Sengoku simply said, ‘‘We will make sincere efforts and keep trying to persuade the people in Okinawa in line with the May 28 accord.’‘

In November, Kan promised U.S. President Barack Obama that he would make utmost efforts toward relocating the air station to a less crowded area in the prefecture. The Japanese leader is keen to make progress in discussions with the prefecture over the issue ahead of his visit to the United States next spring for talks with Obama.

Okinawa has for decades hosted the bulk of U.S. military forces stationed in Japan under a bilateral security pact. Local residents have complained about accidents and crimes involving U.S. servicemen, as well as the pollution and safety risks associated with the military bases.

東京新聞

http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/s/article/2010121301000214.html

首相、17、18日に沖縄訪問 普天間「きちんと謝る」 2010年12月13日 22時06分

 福山哲郎、滝野欣弥両官房副長官は13日、沖縄県の仲井真弘多知事と県庁で会談、菅直人首相が今月17、18両日に沖縄を訪問することで合意した。首相は13日夜、訪問に関し米軍普天間飛行場の名護市辺野古崎地区移設について「(鳩山由紀夫元代表らが)『県外、国外』と言ったにもかかわらず、それができなかった。県民にきちんと謝るべきところは謝る」と明言した。

 知事は福山氏らとの会談で、2011年度末に期限切れとなる沖縄振興特別措置法に代わる新法制定を求めるとともに、「基地負担の大幅軽減と普天間の当面の危険性除去をお願いしたい」と強調した。

(共同)
http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20101213-00000086-mai-pol

<仙谷官房長官>沖縄の基地負担「甘受」を

毎日新聞 12月13日(月)21時3分配信

仙谷由人官房長官=首相官邸で2010年11月11日、藤井太郎撮影

仙谷由人官房長官は13日の記者会見で、沖縄県の米軍基地負担について「安全保障政策は中期的に見れば日米同盟深化と日韓連携の強化。沖縄の方々もそういう観点から、誠に申し訳ないが、こういうこと(基地負担)について甘受していただくというか、お願いしたい」と述べ、多くの米軍基地が沖縄に存在することに理解を求めた。

「甘受」発言に対して、沖縄からは「民意は知事選でも明らか。非常に失礼な話だ」(沖縄県宜野湾市の山内繁雄基地政策部長)などの反発が出ており、菅直人首相の17、18日の沖縄訪問に影響が出そうだ。

米軍普天間飛行場(同県宜野湾市)を名護市辺野古に移設する日米合意についても「誠実に履行させてもらいたい。七重のひざを八重に折ってでもお願いしないといけない。そのために菅首相が(17日からの沖縄訪問という)アクションをする」と語った。

仙谷氏はまた、「沖縄の皆さん方に長年、日本人、ヤマトンチュ(本土の人)としてしわ寄せを押しつけてきた」と語ったが、「一朝一夕ですべての基地を国内の他の地に移すとはいかない」と説明した。【野口武則】

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