Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto and U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta Reach Agreement in Futenma Air Station Relocation

Japan’s new Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto and U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta agreed Wednesday that the current plan for the relocation of a U.S. Marine base within Okinawa Prefecture is the only feasible solution, Defense Ministry officials said.

Morimoto, in his first telephone talks with Panetta since assuming office on June 4, was referring to the plan to move the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station from a crowded residential area in the city of Ginowan to the less populated Henoko district of Nago.

The relocation issue has long been stalled, putting the central and local governments at odds. The government has been pushing for the plan as agreed with the United States.

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