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Conference by the Japanese Government's Press Secretary

8th October, 1996

Q: I heard there was a working group meeting this week of the Special Action Committee on Okinawa.

A: It was just over today.

Q: Can you tell us what was discussed?

A: The Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO) met very briefly today -- this morning in fact -- from 11:00 to 11:45. The two sides agreed to set up a special working group for the relocation of Futenma Air Station, and they also agreed to hold a meeting sometime at the end of this month in Washington, D.C. among the people concerned, and talk about how to accelerate the technical study of the off- shore floating facility idea. The Japanese side explained to the United States side regarding recent progress of the talks between the Japanese Central Government and Okinawa Prefecture, and both sides talked about the three alternative plans for the relocation of Futenma -- namely, to consolidate the functions of Futenma at the Kadena Air Base, or to set up an alternative heliport at Camp Schwab, or to construct an off-shore floating facility -- those three options will be study equally in a comprehensive manner. The first two alternatives have been more or less studied in the past; however, we have not had sufficient time to study about the third option -- the floating facility. Therefore, we need to accelerate the study, so we decided to meet again in Washington, D.C. sometime at the end of this month. Thank you very much.

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