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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 November 15 - 21  > Okinawa governor: new US base inhibits local economic growth
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2017 November 15 - 21 [US FORCES]

Okinawa governor: new US base inhibits local economic growth

November 21, 2017
Okinawa Governor Onaga Takeshi on November 20 told the top-ranking officer of the U.S. military command in Okinawa that relocating a U.S. base from one place to another inside the prefecture will only hamper the local economy from developing.

Okinawa Area Coordinator for U.S. Forces Lt. Gen. Lawrence D. Nicholson visited the governor in the prefectural government office and said that the U.S. forces are promoting the move of the U.S. Futenma base (Okinawa's Ginowan City) to other locations such as Guam and Hawaii in order to reduce Okinawa's base burdens.

Governor Onaga in response to this claim said, "If so, why are you now reclaiming the Henoko sea area to build your new base?" and added, "The transfer of the Futenma base to Henoko will reduce our base burdens only by 0.7%."

Onaga continued, "You may actually believe that we should be 'happy' with the base relocation from the densely-populated city of Ginowan to the northern part of the Okinawa main island. But, the planned relocation area is a candidate for a World Natural Heritage site and should be protected."

He stated, "This 'Yambaru forest' area has great potential for tourism. What if as many as 100 Osprey aircraft come and go there? It will rob us of the potential for tourism there."

Past related article:
> New national park in Okinawa highlights incompatibility of US military with wildlife conservation [September 16, 2016]
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