CCTV.com - CNTV English - CCTV News

Japan's final plans to relocate base in Okinawa likely delayed

07-21-2010 10:09 BJT

TOKYO, July 20 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa indicated Tuesday that the original deadline of finalizing the details of the planned relocation of a controversial U.S. military base within Okinawa may be delayed from the August target.

Kitazawa told reporters that the result of the gubernatorial election in Okinawa in November was a significant factor contributing to the delay, as a new Governor in Japan's southernmost prefecture could, theoretically, derail the original plans and provide a further headache for the central government.

The central government is bound to an accord made with Washington and restated in May to move the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station within the island, much to antipathy of the island's leaders and local residents, all of whom have been assured time and again their base hosting burden will be relieved in the future.

"We must place importance on the election to choose the governor who has the heaviest responsibility for Okinawa," the defense minister told reporters following a Cabinet meeting.

Kitazawa added that until the election has finished it would be unlikely that any plans to move the base would be made concrete, but maintained the government does not wish to force the people of Okinawa into accepting the finalized details.

As controversy mounts in Japan's southernmost prefecture, Kitazawa announced separately that he is "positively considering" a plan to deploy Ground Self-Defense Force troops to the Sakishima island chain southwest of Okinawa Island.

The Defense Ministry said it is thinking about the possibility of deploying a 100-troop coastal surveillance unit to Yonaguni Island and hundreds of border security troops to Miyako and Ishigaki islands within the next eight years.

"Defense strong points in the Sakishima chain are very important," Kitazawa said at a news conference on Tuesday.

"We're positively considering the plan and we'd like to positively promote the plan, including mentioning it in the national defense program outline and medium-term program," he said.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program