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NAHA, Okinawa — Okinawa Gov. Keiichi Inamine this week met with senior Tokyo government officials, repeating his demand for further changes to the Status of Forces Agreement between the United States and Japan.

During a meeting with Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda at the prime minister’s official residence on Tuesday, Inamine submitted a written request, calling for major changes to 11 provisions of the agreement. He said he was not happy with a deal made last month that focused on the handling of U.S. servicemembers accused of committing felonies.

After almost a year of negotiations, the two sides agreed to consider the pre-indictment release to Japanese police of all U.S. servicemembers charged with felonies and allowing U.S. officials to be present during questioning by police and prosecutors.

“The content agreed by the governments is hardly satisfactory to meet desire of people of Okinawa who have suffered from heavy burden of the military presence on Okinawa,” he said, according to local news reports.

Among Inamine’s demands are that the U.S. residents of Okinawa covered by the SOFA pay the same auto taxes as Japanese motorists and that the U.S. and Japanese governments take responsibility for the environmental cleanup of base land before it’s returned to the original owners.

Fukuda told Inamine that he believed discussions on making “operational improvements” of the agreement were moving forward and he would consider Inamine’s request, according to the reports.


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