Henoko Dispute between Govt, Okinawa Seen Intensifying Further

Society Politics

Tokyo, Dec. 14 (Jiji Press)--While Saturday marked the first anniversary of the start of landfill work at a planned U.S. base site in the Henoko coastal area in Okinawa, the dispute between the Japanese government and the southern prefecture is seen heating up further, including over possible project revisions.

At a press conference on Friday, Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki denounced the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for ignoring the will of local people and pressing ahead with the "illegal" landfill work.

"It's an act of trampling on democracy," the governor said.

In a prefectural referendum last February, 70 pct of Okinawa's voters rejected the Henoko base project, which calls for building a replacement facility for the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air base in the Okinawa city of Ginowan. The plan is based on a Japan-U.S. agreement.

Neglecting the referendum result, the Abe administration continued the Henoko landfill work. Until now, landfilling has been completed for about 70 pct of sections where the work started in 2018 and about 10 pct of areas where reclamation started in March 2019.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press