Tokyo submits US base relocation plan to Okinawa
TOKYO (AFP) - Japan's central government on Friday, March 22, formally asked Okinawa's governor to approve plans to build new US military facilities on the island, officials said, a vital step to ending a long-running dispute.
The move is the first in several years aimed at breaking the deadlock between Tokyo, which is bound to the US through a security treaty, and Okinawa, which resents bearing the burden of so many of the country's US bases.
Governor Hirokazu Nakaima received the request from the Japanese defence ministry asking that he give the go-ahead to plans to reclaim land off Henoko, central Okinawa, to build a runway for the US military, a spokesman said.
"Our governor will decide on whether to approve or not after looking into details of the request," the spokesman said.