Futenma deadline not a big deal?

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama says it’s “not a big deal” that he failed to meet his own deadline for selecting a new plan to replace Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.

Hatoyama told reporters Tuesday night in Tokyo he was not ready to make public the alternate sites his government is considering. He had set a deadline of Wednesday to come up with an alternate site to begin the discussions between Okinawa and U.S. officials. He also pledged to reach an agreement on a replacement plan by the end of May.

“It is not time yet to tell you what the ideas are,” Hatoyama said, according to a transcript of the news conference. “Missing the target by a day or two is not a big deal. What is important is to come up with a solid and acceptable proposal.”

There was no indication when his party might make the ideas public.

Hatoyama’s left-center government swept into power in August, defeating the conservative government that signed an agreement with the U.S. in May 2006 to replace Futenma, located in crowded Ginowan, with a new air station on Camp Schwab in the more rural northeast.

The base is planned for the Henoko peninsula and reclaimed land in Oura Bay. During the election campaign, Hatoyama said the project should be reviewed.

Read the rest of the story: Japan misses deadline for selecting alternative Futenma proposal

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