February 26, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo
Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida met with Governor Takeshi Onaga on the morning of February 26 at the prefectural government office.
The governor submitted to the foreign minister a request containing 10 items, including seeking relocation of the U.S. Futenma base out of the prefecture and closure of base operations, revision of the U.S.-Japan Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), and a resolution of the Senkaku issue.
The governor criticized the government, saying, “It is regrettable that the two leaders reaffirmed at the Japan-U.S. summit meeting held on February 10 that the relocation to Henoko is the only solution to avoid the continued use of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.”
He said, “If the governments of Japan and the United States adhere to the policy that Henoko is the only solution, it will lead to future trouble for Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements.”
At the beginning of the meeting between the governor and the foreign minister, before the door was closed to reporters, Kishida did not refer to the Henoko relocation plan.
Kishida stressed the government’s efforts to reduce the base burden on Okinawa. According to the foreign minister, the Japanese and U.S. governments have signed a supplementary agreement of the Japan-U.S. Status Agreement to clarify categories of U.S. military civilians, in response to the rape and murder of an Okinawan woman by the U.S. military civilian in April last year.
This was the third meeting between Governor Onaga and Foreign Minister Kishida since September 2016.
(English translation by T&CT)