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Thursday, March 11, 2010

This Plan, and That Plan to Build Another Base in Okinawa

Developments around the Futenma issue

Ryukyu Shimpo: A group of Okinawa prefectural assembly, led by Yonekichi Shinzato(SDP) went to Tokyo to submit a position statement to Defense Minister Kitazawa, opposing the inter-prefectural relocation of Futenma Air Station and calling for a quick and smooth return of Futenma. (Japanese)

Okinawa Times: Now Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano is considering another plan to build a 1,800m runway off the coast of Katsuren, Uruma City of Okinawa, reclaiming 200 hectares between Ukibaru Island and Miyagi Island. The news below is in Japanese, but has a map to show where it is.

Government will consider this plan on top of the PNP and SDP submitted plans. (See previous posts:

The OT reporter suspects this plan is realistic, as the reclaimed area will be even larger than 160 hectares for Henoko, and opposition from local communities, including the fishing industry is inevitable. Toshio Shimabukuro, mayor of Uruma is opposing the plan and reclaiming the public water body will require an approval from Governor Nakaima, who has been expressing opposition to the government proposals.

Japan Times:
Nakaima to Hirano: Schwab, White Beach both bad options (English)

My question now would be why the government comes up with so many "ken-nai isetsu"(inter-prefectural relocation) plans including unrealistic ones like this. Are they just trying to brainwash people's minds into thinking that inter-prefectural relocation is now inevitable and they settle for the practical question of which is the "better" plan as Hirano suggested to Nakaima a few weeks ago? Given the prefectural assembly's unanimous resolution and Nakaima's support of it, I can't imagine the government is stupid enough to proceed any of these plans to build a new base within Okinawa.

What is their real scheme?

Let me end by introducing an excellent YouTube slide show to illustrate the Futenma relocation issue. The translation and supplementary information are provided by Makiko Sato at this link:


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