12 May '11, 7am

Japan sticks to US base relocation plan

Japan sticks to US base relocation plan

TOKYO: Japan on Thursday brushed aside calls by three US senators to halt plans to relocate a controversial US military base within its southern Okinawa island, saying it was committed to the move. The influential senators on Wednesday called on Washington to freeze plans to relocate the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma within Okinawa, saying Tokyo needed to focus on rebuilding from the March 11 quake and tsunami. But Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano, the righthand man of Prime Minister Naoto Kan, told a news conference: "There is no change in our policy to carry out the Japan-US accord steadily." Kan has promised to relocate the base, as originally agreed with Washington in a 2006 pact, from a crowded urban area to the quieter rural town of Henoko in Okinawa, despite strong local opposition. The US senators -- John McCain, Carl Levin and Jim Webb -- said the...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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