Saturday, December 26, 2009
A Henoko base is not necessary - a Nihon TV Interview
with Mayor of Ginowan (English Translation)
Yoichi Iha, Mayor of Ginowan, appeared in "News 24" of Nihon TV (Nittere) on December 11, 2009. The full text of the interview has been transcribed and translated into English by Peace Philosophy Centre. The Japanese version is here. 日本語版はここです。
(For simplicity and clarity purposes, some of the questions by the interviewer have been omitted or integrated into the answers by Mayor Iha. )
English translation of the Interview with
News 24, Nihon TV, aired on December 11, 2009
- Question: As the mayor of Ginowan City, you have to deal with the Futenma Marine Corps Air Station. As mayor you have advocated that the Futenma Base is the world’s most dangerous base and that it should be removed from Ginowan. But you have advocated for the complete removal of the Futenma Base from Okinawa Prefecture, and move it all to Guam. What have you discussed with Tokyo, in regards to this matter?
Regardless of this, the Japanese people, parliament, and the people of Okinawa have never been given a proper explanation of the plans. In the US, a report on the environmental impact of the relocation of the base to Guam has been made public; I want this report to be explained in detail in Japan. I want to request that the problems surrounding Henoko and US bases within Okinawa Prefecture be reviewed. I want to ask why a base is still required in Henoko when most of the Marines in Okinawa are being relocated to Guam, and the Futenma Base itself is going to be moved to Guam.
- Question: Is a complete relocation to Guam possible? Defense Minister Kitazawa has stated that a complete relocation of facilities to Guam would be impossible; this is different from what you have been advocating. What do you think about the Defense Minister’s comments?
It is public knowledge that 8,000 Marines will be relocated to Guam from Okinawa, and 9000 of their family members will also be moved to Guam. But the number of the family members is less than 9,000. It is said that it is actually less than 8,000. .
The Japanese government has agreed to build homes for 9,000 family members in Guam. Ultimately the Marine units that will be relocated to Guam will be met with more Marine units from around the world. In the end there will be 10,600 marines going to Guam.
- Question: Is Defense Minister Kitazawa wrong in that sense?
In regards to moving the airbase however, building a new airbase in Henoko and building a new airbase in Guam are two completely different stories. There are already two airbases in Guam, so it should be impossible to build another. But the reason behind wanting to build an airbase in Henoko was because the first agreement had decided that the Marine units would also be moved to Henoko that is why we agreed to build a new base in Henoko.