February 16, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo
At a regular meeting of the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly on February 15, Governor Takeshi Onaga announced his administration’s 2017 objectives. He addressed the plan to construct a replacement facility for Futenma Air Station in Henoko, asserting that his administration will not allow the new base to be built, and will tirelessly pursue this as a pillar of its objectives. In terms of the economy, Onaga said his administration will strive for expansion and strengthening of leading industries such as tourism and telecommunications, setting a 2021 benchmark goal for gross prefectural product to reach 5 trillion 10 billion yen, and a goal of increasing Okinawans’ income.
Onaga spoke about the U.S. military base burden, saying, “Now, 71 years after the war, there are no words to describe the abnormality of the current circumstances with 70.6 percent of U.S. military exclusive use facilities in Japan existing in Okinawa, while Okinawa only accounts for 0.6 percent of Japan’s land area.” He also asserted that his administration would put its full energy toward reducing Okinawa’s overlarge share of the base burden.
(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)