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Tokyo governor urges PM Noda to move forward Yokota base issue with Obama.

TOKYO, April 27 Kyodo

Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara said Friday he urged Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to move forward the issue of the U.S. Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo at a summit with U.S. President Barack Obama scheduled for next Monday in Washington.

During their talks held at the prime minister's office, Ishihara did not discuss the metropolitan government's plan to purchase the disputed Senkaku Islands with Noda, according to Ishihara.

Calling for joint military-civilian use of the Yokota base as a third hub airport in the metropolitan area, Ishihara told reporters, ''I asked (Noda) to say to Obama, 'Please,' so (the base issue) will be on the table.''

Ishihara, an outspoken hawk, quoted Noda as saying, ''I well understand.''

When asked about whether he exchanged views with the premier on his plan for Tokyo to buy three of the five main islands, owned by a Japanese man, in the disputed chain in the East China Sea, the governor said, ''Not even a word, as this story would disturb (Noda) now.''

Ishihara said in a speech in Washington earlier this month that Tokyo is negotiating with the owner of three of the Japan-controlled islands, claimed by China and Taiwan, to purchase them by the end of this year. His comments took the central government by surprise and drew protests from China.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Apr 30, 2012
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