Japan Govt Expands Henoko Landfill Work for U.S. Base Construction

Politics

Naha, Okinawa Pref., March 25 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government expanded landfill work at a planned U.S. base site in the Henoko coastal area in Okinawa Prefecture on Monday, in defiance of the prefecture's overwhelming vote against the base construction project in last month's referendum.

The Defense Ministry's Okinawa Defense Bureau notified the prefectural government in the morning before it started the placement of soil in a new section off the Henoko coast in the city of Nago.

The move came after over 70 pct of the votes cast in the Feb. 24 prefectural referendum opposed the construction of a new U.S. base in Henoko to transfer the functions of the Marine Corps' Futenma air base in a heavily populated area in the city of Ginowan, also Okinawa.

"In this democratic nation, the central government should stop the construction work and proceed with talks (with the prefecture side)," based on the referendum result, Kiichiro Jahana, vice governor of Okinawa, told reporters.

"We will firmly assert the prefecture's claims" in a related lawsuit it filed against the state on Friday, Jahana stressed.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press