Japan's govt. to 'steadily proceed' with Futenma relocation work

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno Hirokazu says the government will steadily continue the work needed to relocate the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station within Okinawa Prefecture.

Matsuno was commenting on Monday on the reelection of Okinawa Governor Tamaki Denny, who is opposed to the base's transfer from Ginowan City to Henoko in Nago City. Tamaki won Sunday's gubernatorial race over a candidate backed by the ruling coalition.

Matsuno reiterated the government's position that the relocation to Henoko is the "only solution" to the issue.

He said the government and local residents share the view that keeping the airfield in its current location in a densely populated area should be avoided at all costs.

Matsuno stressed that the relocation to Henoko is the only viable way to maintain the deterrence of the Japan-US alliance while eliminating the danger to local people.

He said the government will steadily proceed with the work at Henoko to realize the full return of the air station at an early date, while offering a detailed explanation to local residents.