Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima has left Japan for Washington to attend a symposium on military base issues.
During his 5-day visit, he plans to directly lodge a protest with the US Defense Department over the alleged rape of a woman by 2 US sailors.
The symposium was organized by Okinawa Prefecture. It will be attended by security experts from the 2 countries. The agenda items include the security situation in Okinawa and the relocation of the US Marine Corps’ Futenma air station.
Nakaima plans to explain that the people of Okinawa are demanding the withdrawal of the plan to deploy the controversial Osprey transport aircraft at the Futenma air station.
He also plans to explain that Okinawa is demanding the relocation of the base outside the prefecture and the return of the site.
Nakaima plans to visit the Defense Department and the State Department to directly lodge a protest over the alleged rape of a woman by 2 US soldiers.
Nakaima spoke to reporters before his departure from Narita Airport on Sunday. He said he wants to hear the US experts’ view on Okinawa and exchange opinions with them. He added that he intends to explain the situation in Okinawa, including the deployment of the Osprey and the rape incident.