In a move that may very likely complicate the government's wish to abide by the May decision with the United States to replace the Futenma Marine Corps Air Station with a partially offshore facility to be built at the town of Henoko, Shimoji Mikio, the People New Party Secretary-General and Representative of Okinawa District #1 has endorsed Iha Yoichi for governor of Okinawa Prefecture. Calling the government's current plan for a Futenma replacement facility at Henoko "unrealistic," Shimoji has chosen to endorse the radical former mayor of Ginowan City -- home of the Futenma -- over the incumbent Nakaima Hirokazu. Shimoji, who earlier this year had himself offered an onshore plan for a Futenma replacement facility at Henoko, has given his nod to the candidate who has insisted that a replacement for Futenma cannot be built inside Okinawa Prefecture.
When a representative who is a member of what is ostensibly part of a ruling coalition picks sides, and he chooses the candidate who will not accept the government's current plan, the government has just one more problem that it did not need.
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