U.S. says no way on relocating Futenma Base to Tokunoshima Island

The United States has rejected the idea of relocating the U.S. Futenma base to Tokunoshima Island, a contentious site favored by the administration of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, because it is too far from Okinawa-based marine units, a government source said Thursday.

Hatoyama has suggested his government will pursue the relocation of the air station to the Kagoshima Prefecture island about 200 km to the northeast, but Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa said Thursday it appears resolving the issue by the end of May as promised is “extremely difficult.”

A visit by Hatoyama to the city of Kagoshima on May 15 has been in the works, other sources close to him said, but Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano denied that the prime minister would go to Kagoshima Prefecture in connection with the Futenma issue.

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