Trawler Workers Sue to Halt Drilling Survey for SDF Base Plan

Politics Society

Kagoshima, Dec. 18 (Jiji Press)--Sixteen fishing boat crew filed a lawsuit on Friday to block the Japanese Defense Ministry's plan to conduct a drilling survey off an island in the southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima for the construction of a Self-Defense Forces base.

In the suit filed with Kagoshima District Court, the local trawler workers demanded that the prefectural government retract its approval for the drilling survey, saying that Kagoshima Governor Koichi Shiota's green light was illegal.

The survey is slated to be carried out off the island of Mageshima, which belongs to the city of Nishinoomote, in preparation for building a port facility as part of the new base plan.

The envisaged base will host field carrier landing practice, or FCLP, for U.S. carrier-borne aircraft. The ministry plans to change the site for the practice to Mageshima from Iwoto, also known as Iwojima, a remote Tokyo island in the Pacific, under a Japan-U.S. agreement.

In the petition, the fishing boat workers, from Nishinoomote, said that board members of a local fishery cooperative had given consent to the survey, while ignoring opinions of its regular members.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press