Tamaki tells governor US bases a ‘burden’ to Okinawa

Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki visited Guam last August to discuss the progress of the relocation of 5,000 Marines and their dependents to Guam.

Okinawa governor Yasuhiro Tamaki made a courtesy call on Adelup Friday morning to discuss the transfer of some U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam.

In a press conference after the meeting, Tamaki said he told Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero that the Okinawan people place a high value on land which is why they are asking for the return of the lands currently occupied by U.S. forces.

Tamaki also said he told the governor that the Okinawa people are burdened by the U.S. bases and in order to reduce that burden, it is necessary to relocate U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam under the agreement between the Japanese and U.S. governments.

He said the Okinawa people have shown their will against new bases and because he shares this view, he won with the highest vote in Okinawan history.

The governor added that Okinawa’s people also voted in a referendum last February to oppose any new base construction.

Tamaki pointed out that Okinawa is only a very small part of Japan, yet it hosts the majority of U.S. personnel in the country.

Because of this, he said Okinawa’s people are suffering the “burden” of having U.S. bases and would like to see a realignment of U.S bases.

“We don’t want any more new base,” Tamaki said through an interpreter.

Tamaki said he was glad he was able to make this trip so that he could convey the opinions and concerns of the Okinawan people to the commander of U.S. bases here and to the governor of Guam.

Tamaki said he and governor Leon Guerrero have promised to cooperate with each other to resolve any issue that may arise.