Okinawa governor vows to continue base-relocation fight despite setbacks
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga has released a 13-point plan to block the relocation of Marine Corps air operations on the island despite recent court losses over the issue.
After an MV-22 Osprey crashed into the sea off Nago on Tuesday night, the anti-base governor has ratcheted up resistance to what he sees as a disproportionate U.S. military presence on the southern Japanese prefecture.
The majority of options Onaga identified can only slow the relocation process; however, three involve permits that could soon cross his desk, setting the stage for more showdowns with Tokyo and their allies in Washington.
The U.S. and Japan agreed on the relocation plan in 1996 over aircraft safety concerns at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, which is in a densely populated urban area in central Okinawa. The plan calls for a new runway at Oura Bay at Camp Schwab in northern Okinawa, which would facilitate Futenma’s closure and shift Marine air assets north.
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