Meeting With Okinawa Governor Onaga

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 3, 2015

State Department Office of Japanese Affairs Director Joe Young and Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) Cara Abercrombie welcomed Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga to the State Department on June 3. In their meeting, Acting DASD Abercrombie and Director Young expressed sincere appreciation to Okinawa for its vital contributions to the U.S.-Japan Alliance, the cornerstone of peace and stability in East Asia. The United States’ troop presence in Okinawa is fundamental to our treaty commitment to the defense of Japan.

In particular, they expressed gratitude for the personal friendship extended by the people of Okinawa to resident U.S. servicemen and women, emphasizing that U.S. military personnel strive continuously to return the generosity of Okinawa by being the best neighbors possible.

During the meeting, Director Young and Acting DASD Abercrombie underscored that the governments of the United States and Japan share an unwavering commitment to the construction of the Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF), the airfield at Camp Schwab.

They pointed out that the FRF is not a new base; rather, the United States and Japan are adding capabilities to an existing base. The U.S. officials reiterated that the plan to construct the FRF is the only solution that addresses operational, political, financial, and strategic concerns and avoids the continued use of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma. Moreover, the successful completion of the airfield at Camp Schwab will signal the strength of the Alliance to the region, deterring threats and enhancing peace and stability.

Director Young and Acting DASD Abercrombie reiterated the U.S. commitment to maintaining good relations with the local communities on Okinawa, noting impact mitigation measures such as aviation training relocation, the relocation of the KC-130s to Iwakuni, and the return of the West Futenma Housing Area.