The Japanese government is set to decide on Monday on a proposal to relocate a controversial U.S. airbase, Kyodo News Agency reported on Sunday, but there was no sign Washington or local residents would agree to the plan.
Hatoyama had frozen a 2006 agreement with the U.S. on moving Futenma to a less crowded part of the island, saying instead he wanted to move it off Okinawa, or even outside the country. He has set an end-of-May deadline to announce a decision on the thorny issue that has strained ties with Washington.
Hatoyama pledged to move the base off the southern island of Okinawa during last year's election campaign that led his party to power, but angered local residents last week by saying the US base remain in Okinawa, which hosts more than half the 47,000 American troops based in Japan under a security pact.
Meanwhile, local mayors of a tiny island northeast of Okinawa rejected Hatoyama's proposal last week to shift a part of Futenma's facility there.
The government plan to be decided on Monday will likely modify a 2006 Japan-U.S. deal to shift Futenma's facilities to a site off Camp Schwab, another Marine base in a more remote part of Okinawa, Kyodo said.
Japanese and U.S. officials are set to meet in Washington on Wednesday for working-level talks on the base issue, Kyodo said.
Related news reports:Last Mod: 09 Mayıs 2010, 16:42