In a related story, Hatoyma announced he is seeking alternative sites for the "replacement" base for the U.S. Marines at Futenma within mainland Japan.
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama is to ask prefectural governors across Japan to cooperate in accepting some functions of the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station in Okinawa.Major U.S. bases in mainland Japan include Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture in northern Honshu Island; the joint U.S.-Japanese Yokota Air Base complex in Tokyo; Yokosuka Naval Base in Yokohama, just south of Tokyo; Iwakuni Marine Air Base near Hiroshima (this base is doubling in size to include personnel formerly stationed at Atsugi Air Base near Tokyo which is closing because of complaints about crime and noise); and Sasebo Naval Base near Nagasaki.
Hatoyama met in Tokyo on Thursday with Fukuoka Governor Wataru Aso, who leads the National Governors' Association. Hatoyama asked Aso to open a governors' meeting within the month.
The prime minister said that his government is making various efforts to relocate the Futenma base, and that he wants to ask the governors in person to accommodate some functions of the US military facility.
The U.S. also maintains munitions depots, communication bases, port facilities, warehouses, and firing ranges thoughout Japan.