Okinawa to Withdraw Landfill Approval for U.S. Base Relocation

Politics

Naha, Okinawa Pref., July 27 (Jiji Press)--Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga said Friday he will begin procedures to withdraw his predecessor's approval of landfill work for a planned U.S. base relocation in the southernmost Japan prefecture.

The governor aims to complete the procedures before Aug. 17, when the central government plans to start earth-filling work in the Henoko coastal district of the Okinawa city of Nago as part of the relocation plan.

As the withdrawal forces the central government to stop the landfill work, it is expected to file a lawsuit to annul the governor's move and enter a new legal battle with Okinawa. Tokyo may also seek damages from Onaga for alleged abuse of power.

Under a Japan-U.S. agreement, the Henoko district is set to host a new facility to be built for the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air station from a densely populated area of the Okinawa city of Ginowan.

Meeting the press at the Okinawa government's office in Naha, Onaga said he had decided on the withdrawal because part of the sea area to be reclaimed was found to include weak ground, posing a risk of seawall collapse.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Okinawa Jiji Press