Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Work continues on new US military base in Okinawa, despite governor's intervention

Japan's national government yesterday continued preparations for relocating a US military base in Okinawa Prefecture, effectively ignoring instructions by the local governor to stop the work and deepening their rift.
The Defence Ministry continued the undersea research off the coast of Henoko where it plans to reclaim land to build a replacement facility for the US Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station under a bilateral accord.

The move prompted about 100 local citizens to stage a protest before the US Marines' Camp Schwab adjacent to the planned reclamation site against the planned transfer of the Futenma base to the Henoko coastal area.

Before the gate of Camp Schwab in Nago, citizens gathered in protest against the continued offshore work by the defence bureau, with some shouting: "This is totally unacceptable," and "Don't surrender to the Abe administration. Support the governor."

With the central government paying little heed to Okinawa's instruction, there is increasing potential that Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga might revoke the permission the local government granted to the Okinawa Defence Bureau for the destruction of reefs in a designated area unless the bureau stops the work within a week, as he warned on Monday.

In Tokyo, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a press conference: "There is no reason to stop the operation at this moment."
  • The top government spokesman stressed the importance of relocating the Futenma base, located in a densely populated area in Ginowan, to reduce dangers for people living nearby.
If Okinawa withdraws the permission, the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would not hesitate to take the matter to a court, sources said.  [scmp.com]


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1 comment:

  1. Fisheries minister Yoshimasa Hayashi has decided to nullify an order by Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga for the Okinawa Defense Bureau to suspend work on the relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, sources said Saturday...

    The showdown started when Onaga on Monday ordered the defense bureau to cease all work until the end of the month, as the prefectural government wants to survey coral reefs outside the designated work area. Local authorities believe the reefs have been damaged by concrete blocks installed by the bureau as weights to which marker buoys will be attached.

    The agriculture, forestry and fisheries minister has the ultimate authority over the issue, as the work was approved last August by Onaga’s predecessor, Hirokazu Nakaima, in line with prefectural fishing regulations that are overseen by the ministry...................http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/03/28/national/politics-diplomacy/gloves-come-off-over-futenma-base-move/#.VRcSkY4YE9Q


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