TOKYO, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit the country's southernmost Okinawa Prefecture on Saturday to discuss with the local government the issue of relocating a U.S. key marine base, said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga Tuesday.
Abe will meet with Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima during his one-day trip so as to make the "first step to rebuild trust" between Japan's central government and the local government on the relocation issue of the U.S. Futenma Air Base, Suga said at a press conference.
The Japanese government sticks to relocate the base, which is in a crowded residential district in Ginowan in Okinawa, to a less populated coastal area in the prefecture's Henoko.
But Nakaima and local resident strongly oppose the plan and they want the base to be moved out of Okinawa.
The relocation issue of the Futenma base has scratched the Japan-U.S. alliance relations, which Abe called as a foundation of Japan's diplomacy after he returned to power last December.
To discuss the relocation issue at this time is possibly a preparation for Abe's U.S. trip, which the prime minister said has been arranged at the third week of February.
Meanwhile, ahead of Abe's talks with the U.S. President Barack Obama, Japan and the United States on Monday agreed to expand U.S. beef and beef products exports to Japan, which banned importing beef from the United States due to mad cow disease in 2003 and partially loosened the prohibition in 2006.