April 28, 2020 Ryukyu Shimpo On 68th anniversary of San Francisco Treaty, Governor Denny Tamaki calls for dialogue between Japan and U.S., reduction of base burden

April 28, 2020 Ryukyu Shimpo
At a regular press conference on April 24, Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki, in advance of the 68th anniversary of the signing of the San Francisco Peace Treaty on April 28, 1952, stated, regarding his hope to see the overwhelming burden of bases on Okinawa reduced, “In order to realize the eternal peace that Okinawans have long called for, the most important thing is for the Japanese and U.S. governments take heed of our earnest wishes from Okinawa and create a place and an opportunity for joint dialogue. I plan to keep calling for this to happen.”
Governor Tamaki discussed the fact that although facilities used exclusively by the U.S. military in mainland Japan have been gradually returned since Okinawa reverted to Japanese sovereignty, Okinawa, which makes up only 0.6% of Japan’s land mass, is still home to 70.3% of facilities in Japan used exclusively by the U.S. military. “We can’t ignore the fact” that even if the SACO agreement and all of the U.S. military’s realignment plans are carried out, “69% of facilities in Japan used exclusively by the U.S. military will still be located in Okinawa,” said Governor Tamaki.
He expressed his view that “elimination of the danger posed by U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma is a matter of utmost urgency,” and said, “I want to make a strong call for the danger to be eliminated by means including relocation outside of Okinawa or outside of Japan, prompt closure, return, and swift cessation of operations, and for the plan to build a new base in Henoko to be cancelled.”
(English translation by T&CT and Sandi Aritza)

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