Governor of Okinawa Finds Silver Lining During Visit to US

Between May 27 and June 4, the Governor of Okinawa, Takeshi Onaga, visited the US to demand that the US cancel its plans to construct a new base at Henoko in Okinawa. In Washington on June 3, Onaga stated that his visit to the US was very productive and that he received a good response. However, some Japanese media outlets reported that he was treated with indifference and opposition in the US. For example, on May 29, while Onaga was visiting Hawaii, he met with Hawaii Governor David Ige who said that the issue of the Henoko base was between the national governments of Japan and the US.  Moreover, even though Onaga met officials from the State Department, their stance on the construction of the Henoko base did not change.

However, Onaga claimed that he found a silver lining because he had found evidence that awareness of the Henoko issue has risen. For example, when he boarded on a taxi in Hawaii, the driver started talking to him and knew about the Henoko base. He appreciated that he was able to meet two Senators, Reed and McCain. McCain said that he would like to continue the dialogue on the Henoko issue. Moreover, Onaga mentioned that he was able to meet other members of Congress in a closed meeting, and therefore cannot release their names. But among the congressmen Onaga met, he claims that there was a congressman who said that he would like to visit  Okinawa for research.

(Source: Tokyo Shimbun, http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20150603-00000005-jct-soci)

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