Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga began a series of meetings Tuesday in Washington to press his case for stopping construction of a new airfield and eventually getting many of the Marines and their MV-22 Ospreys off the island.
Onaga met first with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and was due for talks with State and Defense Department officials.
In a statement later, McCain called his session with Onaga “friendly and respectful” while saying that he also looked forward to strengthening the U.S.-Japan alliance through working with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has rejected Onaga’s push to bar the new airfield.
Onaga was also scheduled to meet Wednesday with Cara Abercrombie, the acting deputy assistant Defense secretary for East Asia, and with Joseph Young, the State Department’s director of the Office of Japanese Affairs.