Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fujimura Admits to Hatoyama Mistakes

By Daniel Rea

Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura acknowledged Tuesday that the policy of former Prime Minister Yukio Hatomaya's administration concerning the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture was inconsistent.

Hartoyama's administration found no consistent policy during his 9 month tenure as Japanese Prime Minister from September 2009 to May 2010. 

Hatoyama first hinted that the 2000 Forces Agreement between the US and Japan would have to be totally scrapped. Then in November 2009 after US Sec of State Hillary Clinton talked to he Japanese counterpart Hatoyama then insisted that the US Marines in Okinawa would be allowed a four year transition period. After February 2010, Hatoyama again vacillated saying that US Marines would be allowed to half their forces with an expansion at Camps Schwab and Courtney.

"It's a fact that there were discussions at one point within the Cabinet on whether the U.S. base should be relocated within or outside the prefecture," Fujimura said at a press conference.

He said the government confused residents in the prefecture.

Fujimura stressed that Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's administration has been consistent in its relocation policy and is following proper procedures on the issue.

Hatoyama resigned as PM in May 2010 due in large part to his DPJ losing confidence in his leadership, with Okinawa being a large reason for their loss of trust in Hatoyama and his cabinet advisors. Japan has had 7 PMs in the last 6 years.

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