Okinawa Prefectural Board rejects Futenma relocation plan after reviewing Henoko environmental impact report

Okinawa Prefectural Board rejects Futenma relocation plan after reviewing Henoko environmental impact report

At around 2:05pm on February 8, at the Okinawa Prefectural Government Office, Kuniharu Miyagi (right), chairman of the Board of Review for the environmental impact assessment report, handed over a report of their findings to Hiroshi Shimoji, head of the Okinawa Prefectural Government Department of Environmental and Community Affairs.


February 8, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

The Okinawa Prefectural Board of Review has completed its review of the environmental impact assessment report (EIA) on the alternative facility construction plan for the relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to Henoko, Nago. On February 8, Kuniharu Miyagi, professor at Okinawa International University and chairman of the Board, reported to Hiroshi Shimoji, head of the Okinawa Prefectural Government Department of Environmental and Community Affairs at the Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG) Office. Miyagi pointed out that large-scale reclamation, construction and ongoing use of the military air base could have an immeasurable impact on the surrounding natural environment, stating, “It is impossible that the environmental protection policy and other measures suggested in the EIA could conserve the living environment and natural environment around the area where the project is to be carried out.” The Board in effect rejected the current relocation plan.

The Board criticized the Okinawa Defense Bureau officials for delivering the EIA to the OPG Office before dawn at the end of last year and the plan to deploy MV-22 Osprey vertical takeoff and landing transport aircraft being included for the first time in the evaluation report at the final stage of the assessment process. Miyagi said, “The measures suggested in the EIA regarding conservation of the natural environment such as coastal water body and prevention of noise generated by aircraft are not appropriate for this kind of project.” Governor Hirokazu Nakaima is required to submit a written statement of opinion to the Okinawa Defense Bureau by February 20.

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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