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Futemma base relocation task forces to be launched.

TOKYO, July 18 Kyodo

The central government and five local municipalities in Okinawa Prefecture agreed Friday to set up two task forces to promote the stalled project of relocating the U.S. Marine Corps' Futemma Air Station within the prefecture, Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba said.

The task forces will discuss ways to remove the dangers surrounding the relocation site in Nago and ways to smoothly carry out environmental impact assessments, Ishiba told reporters after a meeting in Tokyo attended by state officials and Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima, as well as mayors of the municipalities.

But more details about the task forces are still undecided, Ishiba and the other participants suggested.

In Okinawa, the prefectural assembly adopted a nonbinding resolution the same day against the relocation of the Futemma base from Ginowan to Nago, with the backing of the opposition camp that controls the chamber.

The resolution and attached policy recommendations stated the relocation of the Futemma station to a new facility using part of Camp Schwab at Cape Henoko in Nago ''will impose and fix an excessive burden on'' the local communities.

The assembly ''strongly urge (the central government) to give up construction (of the base) immediately,'' they noted.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Date:Jul 21, 2008
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