TOKYO, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- Japan's Okinawa governor on Friday approved the landfill work to relocate the U.S. Futenma airbase within the Japanese southernmost prefecture, reported local media.
Governor Hirokazu Nakaima changed his previous policy of relocating the controversial airbase out of the prefecture, Japan' s Kyodo News cited a senior prefectural official as saying.
The Japanese central government called for long on Okinawa to accept the construction of a replacement facility in an offshore area in Nago to move the air station from a densely populated area in Ginowan.
In a meeting with Nakaima Wednesday in Tokyo, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unveiled a set of measures to reduce Okinawa's cost on hosting U.S. bases and provide financial support to stimulate its economy, said Kyodo.
The airbase relocation issue has been in center of conflict in the prefecture as local residents strongly oppose the plan to move the base within the prefecture due to safety concerns about U.S. military operations.
U.S. helicopter crash-lands in eastern Japan
TOKYO, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- A U.S. Navy helicopter carrying four people made an emergency landing in a coastal city south of Tokyo Monday afternoon, leading to two passengers' bones broken, local media reported.
The MH-60 helicopter landed in an empty lot in Miura, Kanagawa Prefecture, just after 3:30 p.m., the Kanagawa prefectural police said. Full story
Japan looks to speed up return of controversial U.S. base in Okinawa
TOKYO, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- Japan's Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera said Friday that Japan plans to return the United States Marine Corps'Futenma Air Station in Okinawa, several years ahead of the previous 2022 target data.
Itsunori told a news conference earlier Friday that if the work to build a replacement facility can be expedited then the scheduled returning of the base can be moved up. Full story