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NAHA, Okinawa — Reactions here mostly were favorable Tuesday to news that the United States and Japan finally have agreed how to significantly reduce the impact of U.S. forces based on the island by 2014.

Of the “Roadmap for Realignment Implementation” issued Monday in Washington, Gov. Keiichi Inamine said he was glad to see the two nations’ defense and foreign ministers agreed on moving 8,000 Marines to Guam and closing major military facilities in southern Okinawa.

But he remains opposed to replacing Marine Corps Air Station Futenma with a new facility on Camp Schwab in northeast Okinawa, he told reporters, saying only, “I maintain my original stance.”

Inamine had backed a previous plan to build an offshore airport also to be used by civilian aircraft. He said the new facility would place Marine helicopter flight paths too close to Okinawan communities.

Monday’s agreement came a month after officials missed a self-imposed March 31 deadline to work out details of a broad realignment plan they adopted Oct. 29 after more than three years of talks.

The final report was adopted in Washington at a meeting among Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso and Fukushiro Nukaga, the head of the Japanese Defense Agency.

U.S. Consul General Thomas G. Reich on Tuesday called the plan “the most sweeping reconfiguration of bases in Japan since World War II. And it’s a big step forward for Okinawa … lessening the burden of hosting so many troops” and returning “quite a bit of base land south of Kadena Air Base.”

Reich said some people will continue to oppose relocating MCAS Futenma to Camp Schwab but noted that since 1998 voters consistently have elected officials who supported the plan.

He mentioned Nago Mayor Yoshikazu Shimabukuro. Camp Schwab is within Nago city limits but is in a rural area separated from the urban center by a mountain.

But Tuesday, Shimabukuro said he’d reversed his position.

“What Nago City had agreed to on April 7,” he said, “was a basic agreement on a location of the new airport. But the details — such as the length of the runways — should be determined through future negotiations between the central government and Nago.”

He said he also opposed joint use of Camp Hansen by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.

Ginowan Mayor Yoichi Iha, who has pressed for closing MCAS Futenma at once and transferring Marine air assets off Okinawa, called the plan “absolutely unacceptable.” He said, “Operational units must be moved out of Okinawa, including helicopter units, same as the way III MEF is to be moved to Guam.”

Marines officially voiced mixed feelings about moving to Guam, as did Okinawan business community members.

Okinawans “have always embraced the Marines and their families stationed here,” said spokesman Capt. Shawn S. Turner. “As neighbors and members of the community, we have forged a lasting bond that will remain strong through the realignment process.” But he said Marines also are “excited about the increased flexibility associated with moving some forces to Guam.”

Hirokazu Nakaima, Naha Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman, praised the plan as bringing “a remarkable reduction in the presence of the U.S. military on Okinawa.”

His counterpart in Ginowan, where MCAS Futenma is located, was more apprehensive.

“It is good that residents will no longer suffer from aircraft noise,” said Yoshimi Kashiwada, Ginowan Chamber of Commerce chairman.

But, he said, “There is no solid reutilization plan yet for the land after the military leaves. … What we can see for sure is that we will be losing about 6.2 billion yen ($54.4 million) annual rent from the base. And what about Japanese employees who work on the base or people who count on the business the Americans bring?”

The mayor of Urasoe, where Camp Kinser is located, was pleased — and worried.

“I welcome the return of Camp Kinser, which we have wished for a long time,” Mayor Mitsuo Gima said. “However, this will also be the start of our challenge. There will be no rent income.”

He said the city will focus on plans to develop the area “while paying the utmost attention not to harm the interest of landowners.”

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