Japan's PM set for breakthrough on controversial US base
TOKYO (AFP) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe looks set to win approval from Okinawa this week for the long-stalled relocation of a US military base after a meeting on Wednesday, Dec 25, 2013, with the island's pugnacious governor.
A deal with Okinawa would end a long-running dispute that has been a source of friction with Washington and also mark a significant achievement for Mr Abe, who has sought closer US ties amid a simmering territorial row with China.
Mr Abe pledged an unheralded cash bonanza for the archipelago, in the form of stimulus spending that commentators say could help persuade governor Hirokazu Nakaima to drop his longstanding opposition to construction of a new airbase.
"You presented surprisingly impressive proposals. I express my heartfelt appreciation as the representative of Okinawa's 1.4 million people," the governor told Mr Abe.