Hai Sai! Welcome to my Blog.

Hello, my name is Tom Corrao and I am the blogger behind the Okinawaology Blog. I created this blog to share and discuss all things Okinawan. I’m also the Public Relations Officer and Minkan Taishi to the Chicago Okinawa Kenjinkai. My experience with Okinawa is derived from the time I spent there during the 1980's and 90's (10 years) when serving in the United States Air Force. I've also been married to an Okinawan woman for 30 years now and have been immersed in many things Okinawan through both friends and family. I do not claim to be all knowing about everything Okinawan but I try hard and study the history and culture. I welcome everyone that is interested in Okinawa and hope that I can provide useful information to those uchinanchu that may be curious about their culture and heritage. I also welcome those who are not of Okinawan heritage but have experienced, or are experiencing, the islands culture while stationed there with the United States Military. Comments are welcomed and will be published as long as they are in good taste and on track with the purpose of this blog. My hope with this blog is to bring Uchinanchu people around the world a little closer to their cultural roots by expressing information that has started to fade in light of a more modern world. We should never forget our culture or the people who came before us and through the Blog my intentions are to meld the old with the new and implant knowledge that will help maintain the traditions and culture of an island people.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hatoyama to visit Okinawa over U.S. base issue Tues., 1st trip as PM

Today's Post is simply an article taken from the (Mainichi Japan) May 1, 2010. It sounds like politics as usual for the Japanese government where Okinawa is concerned.

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama will visit Okinawa Prefecture on Tuesday to hold talks with Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima on the issue of where to relocate a U.S. Marine base in the southernmost prefecture, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano said Friday.
In his first visit to Okinawa since taking power last September, Hatoyama, who is aiming to end this row by May 31, is expected to explain to the governor that he plans to build a pile-supported facility on the coast of the U.S. Marine Corps' Camp Schwab in Nago to relocate the Marines' Futenma Air Station in Ginowan there, instead of reclaiming land from the sea on the coast in line with an existing accord.
"What's important is the opinion of the people, especially that of people on Okinawa," Hatoyama told reporters in the evening. "I've been working based on that belief. That's why I would like to visit there."
"I want to explain to them how the government is thinking about the relocation at this point," he said.
The Democratic Party of Japan-led government is also planning to transfer up to 1,000 Marines or some of the drills at Futenma to Tokunoshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture, about 200 kilometers northeast of Okinawa.
Hirano said a detailed schedule for the premier's visit has yet to be fixed, but according to government sources Hatoyama will likely meet with Nago Mayor Susumu Inamine and residents on Okinawa, and visit Futenma, Camp Schwab and other locations concerned.
But it is unlikely that his plan will win the go-ahead from local residents, as people on Okinawa are still hoping Hatoyama will move Futenma outside the prefecture to keep the pledge he made during last year's election campaign and people on Tokunoshima are dead set against hosting any U.S. military facility.
In the Okinawan capital of Naha, Nakaima on Friday displayed displeasure about the government's reported plan of transferring Futenma within Okinawa.
"I wonder by what process the government has ended up with a plan to move it within the prefecture against (Hatoyama's) campaign pledge," he said. "I wonder how seriously the government has examined relocation sites outside Okinawa."
Nakaima said he will demand again that Futenma be relocated outside the prefecture as Hatoyama pledged.
The premier has also met with fierce opposition from the Social Democratic Party, one of the DPJ's two coalition partners.
SDP chief Mizuho Fukushima, who is also minister in charge of declining birthrate issues and consumer affairs, said in a press conference Friday she told Hatoyama over the phone earlier in the day that she doubts his plan is something people in Okinawa have hoped for even if it does not involve land reclamation.
Fukushima hinted late last year at breaking with the tripartite coalition if Futenma remains in Okinawa.
But Hatoyama said, "We will continue coordinating (with the partners) and put together a government plan."
Asked by reporters what he means by saying he will "solve the issue by the end of May," Hatoyama said he would view it a "settlement" if the government agrees on a general direction for a solution with Washington officials, people in Okinawa and those in the areas that may become the new host.
Tokyo and Washington agreed in 2006 to reclaim land from the sea off Camp Schwab and to transfer Futenma there, but Hatoyama has been seeking an alternative plan to ease the burden on Okinawa, which hosts the bulk of U.S. forces stationed in Japan, and reduce the impact on the local marine environment.
On a possible relocation of Marines or drills to Tokunoshima, which is home to about 27,000 people, Hatoyama visited Torao Tokuda, a key figure on the island, at his home in Tokyo on Wednesday in a failed attempt to gain support from the retired politician.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano said Friday that he is still looking to meet with mayors of the three towns on the island to explain to them what the government is planning for the relocation and offer apologies for causing them concern.

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