Japan recently announced that it was temporarily stopping construction of a disputed U.S. air base on Okinawa Island for almost a month to conduct talks between the central government and the island authorities that are opposing the facility.
The residents of Okinawa, which is the site of the bloody war between the Japanese and the U.S forces towards the end of the second world war, have long raised objection for presence of tens of thousands of U.S. forces and U.S. military fixtures on 18% of the island.
The governor of the island, Takeshi Onaga, who won the election last year mainly on his stand opposing the U.S. forces, and also accused the Japanese Prime Minister for looking down on the island and the people of the island.
The government has plans to shift the Marines’ Futenma base of the U.S. to a different place on the southern island however Onaga and several residents have the view to get rid of it altogether.
Yoshihide Suga, the Chief Cabinet secretary stated the suspending of the construction would allow the two parties to discuss the issue thoroughly.
This will the government another chance to explain his views on the Okinawan territory as part of a focused approach towards the solution, he said at the conference.
However, Suga stated that there was no change in the government’s standpoint.
The construction activity that has been suspended will effectively take the emotive issue off from the table, during the government’s action to push sensitive security bills to the parliament.
Most of the Japanese are opposing the security bills that will allow Japanese forces to undergo a battle first time since the second would war and will work towards Prime Minister’s standpoint for a strong security stance.