自民地域版公約 普天間「県外移設」は二枚舌か

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 9, 2013
LDP, Okinawa chapter out of sync on Futenma air base relocation plan
自民地域版公約 普天間「県外移設」は二枚舌か(6月8日付・読売社説)

It is irresponsible for the Liberal Democratic Party’s Okinawa prefectural chapter to include policies in its campaign pledge that go against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s weighty political decision and the policies of the party’s headquarters.

The chapter has decided to mention its demand for relocating the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station to a site outside the prefecture in the prefectural version of the party’s manifesto for the House of Councillors election scheduled for July.

LDP Secretary General Shigeru Ishiba and Policy Research Council Chairwoman Sanae Takaichi repeatedly tried in vain to persuade the chapter not to include the “outside-the-prefecture relocation” pledge in the local manifesto.

Originally, the prefectural chapter supported a plan to relocate the Futenma Air Station in Ginowan to the Henoko district in Nago. But as calls grew louder among prefectural residents to relocate the base outside the prefecture, in a backlash against the Democratic Party of Japan-led government’s bungled handling of the relocation issue, the chapter changed tack to call for an outside-the-prefecture relocation plan, as Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima did.

The LDP plans to field a rookie candidate in the Okinawa prefectural constituency of the upper house election against an opposition-affiliated incumbent. Some in the chapter contend it will be impossible to win the election if its candidate insists on relocating the base to Henoko.

However, it must be noted that the Futenma relocation is a crucial issue deeply tied to Japan’s diplomatic and security policies. The upcoming poll is a national election, so the chapter should not decide on a campaign pledge based only on regional factors, even if it is intended for the local version of the manifesto.

2-tongued approach baffling

The party headquarters plans to promote the relocation of Futenma to Henoko in its campaign pledge. If the chapter puts forward a policy that is inconsistent with this party line, it will only lead to confusion among voters.

The Futenma issue is in an extremely critical phase of determining whether the longstanding issue can be resolved.

In a summit meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in February, Abe confirmed a policy to push forward the Futenma relocation. In March, the government filed an application with the Okinawa prefectural government for approval of reclamation of the Henoko coastal area for this purpose.

The Abe administration must stand fast on its plan to accelerate the relocation to Henoko. The Nago Fisheries Cooperative, which agreed with the reclamation plan, has said it “will withdraw the approval if the relocation to Henoko is not mentioned in the LDP’s campaign pledge.”

If the reclamation is not permitted, this would be a serious blow to the Abe administration.

Not a smart choice

The LDP must take seriously that the prime minister made a political decision with high stakes. It is only natural that the party as a whole cooperate in his bid to promote the relocation to Henoko.

First of all, the plan to relocate the base outside the prefecture is unlikely to be realized because it contains no concrete measures. The plan will most certainly lead to extending the status quo for a long time, during which the Futenma base will continue to pose a risk to the surrounding areas. This cannot be a smart choice for the prefecture.

Some members of the LDP Okinawa prefectural chapter–including Kosaburo Nishime, a House of Representatives member, and upper house member Aiko Shimajiri, a parliamentary secretary of the Cabinet Office–have been indicating they will approve relocation to Henoko. The government and party headquarters must join hands with local entities who have yet to voice their approval of the relocation plan.

The first thing to do is to reverse the chapter’s decision in favor of relocation outside the prefecture. This could be the first step to laying the foundation for Gov. Nakaima to approve reclamation of the Henoko coastal area.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun June 8, 2013)
(2013年6月8日01時49分 読売新聞)


srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク



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