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2010年5月 6日 (木)

クローズアップ2010:首相「県外移設」断念(その1) 戦略なき釈明の旅


(Mainichi Japan) May 6, 2010
Hatoyama eats his words on Futenma relocation during Okinawa visit
クローズアップ2010:首相「県外移設」断念(その1) 戦略なき釈明の旅

On his first visit to Okinawa since the launch of his administration, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has had to retract his statements on negotiations over the relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, currently situated in the Okinawa Prefecture city of Ginowan.

In the lead-up to the last House of Representatives election, Hatoyama repeatedly declared that the Futenma base would be relocated "outside the prefecture." But in the Okinawa Prefecture city of Nago on Tuesday, Hatoyama said that his statements at the time reflected his personal view as leader of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), rather than the view of the party itself.

Less than one month now remains before the prime minister's self-imposed deadline of May 31 for settling the relocation issue, but his administration has still not been able to finalize a plan. By visiting Okinawa at such a time, Hatoyama has exposed the administration's rushed approach on the issue in which he is bearing the brunt of criticism with no government leadership in sight.





Hatoyama apparently decided to visit Okinawa to enter into negotiations himself, fearing that a personal appearance was the only way to move the issue forward. Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano has served as a negotiator in talks on relocating Futenma but his secretive approach has provoked distrust among local bodies involved in talks. Three town mayors from Tokunoshima Island, one of the proposed replacement sites, refused to meet the government spokesman, saying they had no intention of meeting someone who was "insincere," and negotiations led by Hirano appear to have reached an impasse.

In a meeting at the Prime Minister's Office on April 30, Shokichi Kina, head of the DPJ's Okinawa prefectural chapter, spoke up and stated: "Mr. Hatoyama, I'll say it directly: You should cut Hirano loose and reform the Cabinet." Kina proposed that Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Naoto Kan take over the position.
The events suggest that a hunt to single out "offenders" responsible for the wavering approach to the relocation issue is underway, and that the possibility of Hirano being replaced is growing stronger.

When it comes to the ruling coalition, the parties have remained out of step. Mizuho Fukushima, leader of the Social Democratic Party, told reporters on Tuesday, "The administration should accept the will of the residents of Okinawa as it engages in politics." The footing of the prime minister, who has declared he will stake his job on all of the government's policies -- including its Futenma policy -- is far from stable, but still the deadline for settling the issue draws closer and closer.
The fate of the government's proposal to keep Futenma in Okinawa Prefecture, described by a source close to Hatoyama as "no more than a hopeful plan," is likely to bear directly on whether the prime minister will be able to remain in office.


 ◇修正案「くい打ち方式」 地元利益薄く、環境に影響



毎日新聞 2010年5月5日 東京朝刊


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