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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 February 15 - 21  > Japan persuades Trump to touch on Henoko issue in joint statement
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2017 February 15 - 21 [POLITICS]

Japan persuades Trump to touch on Henoko issue in joint statement

February 16, 2017
Abe’s insistence resulted in the Abe-Trump joint statement assertion that the relocation of the U.S. Futenma base to the Henoko district in Okinawa is “the only solution”, Akahata reported on February 16.

According to Akahata, a high ranking Japanese government official said that Japan explained the necessity of the planned Henoko base at the summit meeting and President Trump made no particular mention about the issue. In other words, Trump had little interest in the plan to construct an offshore base in Henoko.

However, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, who wants to push forward with the controversial construction project, appealed to Trump to touch on the Henoko issue in the joint statement. As a result, the statement asserts that the plan to construct a new base in Henoko is “the only solution” to the Futenma base relocation issue.

In a House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting on February 14, PM Abe boasted that this is the first time that the phrase “the only solution” was included in a joint statement between the leaders of Japan and the U.S. and that this is very meaningful and epoch-making, totally disregarding the sentiments of Okinawans opposing the Henoko base construction.

Following the issuance of the Abe-Trump joint statement, a woman in Okinawa who takes part in the anti-Henoko base movement criticized PM Abe for impressing upon Trump the need to impose more base burdens on Okinawans. Ashitomi Hiroshi, who co-heads the local anti-U.S. helipad protests, said that they will never give up their resistance and will continue to work to put a stop to the base construction.

Past related articles:
> JCP Koike: Gov’t should stop offshore work for Henoko base construction project [February 7, 2017]
> End Abe politics putting absolute priority on Japan-US alliance [February 5, 2017]
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