Okinawa governor appeals for Marine Corps Air Station Futenma closure in letter to US officials
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki has appealed to U.S. officials to shutter Marine Corps Air Station Futenma despite construction delays at its replacement facility and warned of civil unrest should the United States fail to take action.
Tamaki wrote Friday to U.S. Ambassador to Japan William Hagerty, Naha Consul General Robert Koepcke, U.S. Forces Japan commander Air Force Lt. Gen. Kevin Schneider and III Marine Expeditionary Force commander Lt. Gen. Eric Smith, a prefectural spokesman told Stars and Stripes Wednesday. The letters were released to the public Monday.
“The United States and residents of Okinawa share a history of having fiercely confronted one another across the fence when Okinawa was under U.S. administration,” Tamaki wrote. “If the U.S. continues to use [MCAS Futenma], it may give rise to anti-base protests against all U.S. military bases in Okinawa, or even an overall anti-U.S. movement like what was seen in the past. If that happens, such movements would have a significant impact on the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements as well as the Japan-U.S. Alliance including operation of Kadena Air Base and White Beach Naval Facility.”
Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.583539
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