July 6, 2020 Ryukyu Shimpo
Former Defense Minister Gen Nakatani of the Liberal Democratic Party shared his “mega-float” proposal with people close to Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki as an alternative plan to reclaiming land at the new base construction site in Henoko, Nago City, citing the infeasibility of completing the ongoing construction. However, on the morning of July 6, Governor Tamaki told reporters that when he spoke with Nakatani on July 3, there was no mention of a mega-float. The governor indicated his disapproval and said, “It appears the conversation has gone back in time.”
During his July 2-4 visit to Okinawa, Nakatani met with Nago City Mayor Taketoyo Toguchi and Governor Denny Tamaki. On July 4, Nakatani had dinner with Morimasa Goya, chair of the Kanehide Group and chair of the governor’s koenkai (organizations that mobilize voters and funds for politicians); and with Taku Yamazaki, the former vice president of the LDP. During the dinner, Nakatani shared his doubts about the land reclamation work at Henoko and proposed installing a mega-float instead.
Governor Tamaki said that in his meeting with Nakatani, the former Defense Minister did not voice such doubts. He said, “[I] pointed out the issues surrounding the land reclamation work [at Henoko], such as the soft seabed, as cause to stop the construction and to open up a dialogue. Mr. Nakatani was not opposed to it.”
Following his meeting with Governor Tamaki, Nakatani told reporters that reclaiming land at Henoko is “Technically not impossible.”
(English translation by T&CT and Monica Shingaki)