Okinawa Governor Eyes U.S. Visit in March

Kimimasa Mayama/Pool via Reuters/file photo
Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki speaks to the media after a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (not in picture) at Abe’s official residence in Tokyo, Japan, March 1, 2019.

Naha, Okinawa Pref.—Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki is planning to visit the United States as soon as early March, following his re-election last September, informed sources told Jiji Press on Friday.

Tamaki won the gubernatorial election by highlighting his opposition to the planned relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma air station in Ginowan to the Henoko coastal district in Nago, both in Okinawa, southernmost Japan.

During the envisioned visit, Tamaki is expected to reiterate his call for the U.S. base relocation plan to be reviewed, claiming that it is realistic to move the base outside Okinawa or Japan.

He is considering visiting Washington to hold talks with senior officials of the Department of State and the Department of Defense as well as members of Congress, the sources said.

Tamaki last visited the United States in October 2019.

Over the base issue, the Okinawa prefectural government and the Japanese government remain in a standoff, with the national government insisting that the current relocation plan is the only solution.