Okinawa Washington Office head encountering visa problems
According to several press reports, the head of Okinawa Prefecture’s office in Washington has yet to obtain the working visa needed for political activities.
Hideo Henzan, a former worker at the U.S. Consulate General in Okinawa, was appointed to head the prefecture’s office in Washington that the prefecture set up last year to collect information and lobby against the planned relocation of the MCAS Futenma to Henoko in Nago.
Reportedly, Henzan currently has a short-term business visa that allows him to work organizing the office, but not engage in lobbying and other activities that he is supposed to do. Okinawa Government has informed the prefectural assembly that it is trying to change Henzan’s visa to one that classifieds him as an expatriate personnel of the prefectural government, as he is likely to stay in the U.S. for a long term.
Prefectural government officials stressed that Henzan has not engaged in lobbying, and say that his main work has been getting the office up and running. He also made preparations for the recent U.S. visit of Governor Takeshi Onaga.