Tags: Japan | US | base | options

Japan, U.S. Discussing Okinawa Base Options

Monday, 29 Mar 2010 08:46 AM


The Japanese foreign minister is meeting with top U.S. officials to discuss the replacement of a military base on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa. Katsuya Okada made the trip to Washington just days after Tokyo suggested a compromise that would split the base's operations between two Japanese islands.

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has said for months that he will decide on the future of Okinawa's Marine Corps Air Station Futenma by the end of March.

With the clock ticking, the government has aired several proposals.

One option his government is considering places some Futenma operations on Camp Schwab, a Marine base in northeastern Okinawa. Another proposes moving operations to reclaimed land off a small U.S. navy base on the island. Some training would be moved to a small island closer to the main Japanese archipelago.

Hirofumi Hirano, the government's chief spokesman, says the prime minister is not tied to any specific alternative. He adds that Mr. Hatoyama still intends to present the U.S. with a finalized plan by Wednesday.

The Japanese government has said it hopes to reach an agreement with the U.S. on Futenma by May.

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2010-46-29
Monday, 29 Mar 2010 08:46 AM
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