Work to Relocate Futenma Base Seen Extended to Over 9 Years

Politics

Tokyo, Dec. 25 (Jiji Press)--The period for landfilling work for the relocation of a key U.S. military base within the southernmost Japan prefecture of Okinawa is expected to be extended to nine years and three months from the initially planned five years, the Japanese Defense Ministry said Wednesday.

With an additional three years required for building a replacement facility, the return to Japan of land occupied by the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in the Okinawa city of Ginowan is likely to be delayed considerably until at least the 2030s.

The ministry also said that building the replacement facility is now expected to cost some 930 billion yen, larger than its initial estimate of over 350 billion yen.

The new estimate was presented at a meeting of experts.

In 2013, Japan and the United States agreed on the return of the Futenma site as early as fiscal 2022 on condition that the air base is relocated to the Henoko coastal district in Nago, another Okinawa city.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press