Monday, March 25, 2013

Timeline for Okinawa land return in works - The Japan Times

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday that his government will compile a timeline for returning land leased to the United States for military use near Kadena Air Base in Okinawa Prefecture.

The government needs to proceed in a responsible way,” Abe told reporters in Fukushima Prefecture.

Under a bilateral deal reached last April, leased areas south of the U.S. Air Force base would be returned to Japan as soon as replacement facilities are provided in Okinawa, or when U.S. Marines stationed in the prefecture are transferred overseas.

A government source said the same day that Tokyo and Washington are considering a plan that would return five such facilities and areas in early April.

Japan apparently wants to accelerate the return of the facilities in the belief that Okinawa will reciprocate by giving it the green light to conduct landfill operations needed to replace U.S. Marine Corps Air Base Futenma. But the U.S. side remains reluctant to explicitly state when those sites may be returned, the source said.

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Comment: Where's Susan Powter when you need her???

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