Japan Continues Work at US Base Relocation Site in Okinawa (News)
Nago, Okinawa Pref., Feb. 7 (Jiji Press)—Japan's Defense Ministry on Tuesday went ahead with work in preparation for the construction of a replacement facility for the US Marine Corps' Futenma air station in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture.
The ministry's Okinawa Defense Bureau dropped large concrete blocks into the sea off the Henoko district in Nago, also in the southernmost prefecture, even though the prefectural government on Monday requested a halt to the preparatory maritime work.
Okinawa Governor Onaga Takeshi reacted harshly to the central government's move, telling reporters that it is "highly regrettable." He demanded an immediate halt to the work.
He warned that if the work continues, negative sentiment against the US military will grow among Okinawa people, undermining the Japan-US security treaty regime.
The central government began the preparatory work on Monday after a Supreme Court ruling last December backed the state in its legal battle with the prefecture over the planned base relocation.[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]