Futenma's Return to Japan Seen to Be Delayed Considerably

Politics

Tokyo, Dec. 23 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government has concluded that it has to extend the period for landfilling to about 10 years from the initially planned five years for a project to relocate U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air base in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, informed sources said Monday.

The expected extension means that the return of the current site of the Futenma base to Japan could be delayed into the 2030s at the earliest from the current plan of as early as fiscal 2022, after taking into account the three years needed to build facilities.

The government's conclusion reflects the time needed to improve soft ground on the seafloor in an offshore area of the relocation site in the Henoko district in Nago, also in Okinawa, the sources said.

The Defense Ministry will report the new estimate on the period for landfilling to a meeting of experts in civil engineering and related fields as early as Wednesday, the sources said.

A delay in the relocation project will inevitably require more money than the current estimate of at least 350 billion yen.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press