THURSDAY, 09 DECEMBER 2010 01:47 BY THERESE HART | VARIETY NEWS STAFF
A VISITING delegation from the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly says their government wants all of the 12,000 U.S. Marines out
of the Japanese island, not just the estimated 8,600, who are scheduled to be moved to Guam starting 2012.
The delegation, led by Tetsuji Shinagaki of the Liberal Democratic Party, also told incumbent Speaker Judi Won Pat and other Guam lawmakers, Okinawa wants the Futenma Air Base removed from their island as opposed to relocating it to Camp Nago.
They also clarified that there is no truth to the story that came out in a Saipan newspaper that Okinawa would pay the U.S. to relocate some 4,000 more U.S. Marines to Tinian.
The delegation said that kind of decision is between the U.S. and Japanese governments and they are not aware of any decision being made, but Saipan leaders brought up the discussion.
The delegation said the Okinawa assembly passed a resolution urging Japan and the United States to modify their realignment of forces agreement so that the other Marines would also be relocated to Guam.
The delegation, which is scheduled to leave today, said newly-elected Okinawa Gov. Hirozaku Nakaima, stands and agrees on the same issues as the assembly.
The delegation reiterated that Okinawa makes up 0.6% of Japan’s territory but hosts 75 percent of U.S. military bases.
Okinawans have complained for decades about the unfair and unequal footprint left by the U.S.
The US military forces control 40 percent of Okinawan airspace and 29 ports.
The Okinawan delegation, all members of the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly, include the following: Tetsuji Shinagaki (Liberal Democratic Party); Kosuke Gushi (LDP); Masatoshi Onaga (LDP); Isho Urasaki (LDP); Hikaru Minei (LDP); Hiroko Tsujino (LDP); Zakimi Kazuyuki (LDP); Yoshihiko Yoshimoto (LDP); Sachio Kuwae (LDP); Kyoki Nakagawa (LDP); Dai Shimabukuro (LDP); Tomonori Itosu (New Komeito).