Okinawa assembly adopts resolution urging governor to quit

The Okinawa prefectural assembly adopted Friday by majority vote a resolution urging Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima to quit for reneging on his election pledge to have a U.S. Marine base moved outside the prefecture.

It was the first time such a resolution, which is not legally binding, was approved by the prefectural assembly, according to its secretariat.

Passage of the resolution could hamper assembly deliberations of key issues next month when it convenes.

The action comes after Nakaima last month approved landfill work for the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station, marking a breakthrough in the long-stalled relocation of the base in the face of stiff local opposition.

The resolution said that the governor, who met Prime Minster Shinzo Abe before approving the landfill work, "greatly disappointed the Okinawa residents because of the way it appeared that his base (decision) was a trade-off for measures to develop Okinawa."

The central government, in line with a Japan-U.S. accord, has been pushing to relocate the Futenma base from a densely populated area in Ginowan to an offshore area in less densely populated Nago.

Abe presented a package to reduce Okinawa's base-hosting burden and to stimulate the local economy.

To protest the governor's decision, assembly members, some belonging to the opposition camp, came up with the resolution.

"It is extremely regrettable," Nakaima said in a statement after the resolution was adopted.