Japanese government sticks to Henoko relocation plan
March 31, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo
After Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima submitted a written statement of opinion on the environmental impact assessment report (EIA) on the plan to construct an alternative facility for the relocation of Futenma Air Station to Henoko, Nago, and demanded the relocation of Futenma Air Station out of Okinawa, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has responded by insisting that the Japanese government would adhere to its policy to relocate the base to Henoko. Noda said, “The Ministry of Defense will carefully review the EIA and respectfully take measures such as revising the plan. We will explain matters to the Okinawa Prefectural Government in order to obtain consent from the governor.” Noda was responding to Ryo Kasai of the Japanese Communist Party on the House of
Representatives Budget Committee held on March 30.
While the ministry placed orders for three construction works in Camp Schwab to three companies, including Kuniken Ltd., Kasai pointed out in a committee meeting held on March 8 that former ministry officials have been employed by those companies, and that there is some suspicion that the companies may have been engaged in bid-rigging.
With regard to Kasai’s statement, Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka explained, “I made sure that the positions they acquired at those companies do not allow them to be involved in negotiations with representatives of the ministry, and I also confirmed that they met the standard for re-employment set by Self-Defense Forces Act.”
(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)
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