Defense Minister announces Henoko drilling survey deadline to be extended to end of September

June 30, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo

At a press conference following a cabinet meeting on June 30, Defense Minister Gen Nakatani announced that the deadline for completing the drilling survey being carried out in preparation for the relocation of MCAS Futenma to Henoko, Nago City would be extended until September 30.

The deadline was previously set for June 30. This is the third time the survey deadline has been extended.
Meanwhile, Defense Minister Nakatani reaffirmed that the land reclamation work itself, which will involve bringing in loads of dirt and sand, will begin in the summer. He stated that the land reclamation work is due begin as soon as the survey is completed.

Regarding the current status of the drilling survey, Defense Minister Nakatani stated that drilling at five land locations and seven seabed sites has been completed, and that drilling at five seabed sites remains to be carried out. He explained that the delay was due to the influence of typhoons, and other factors. He further stated that there was no change in the government’s plan to begin the actual construction work as soon as possible.

When the Okinawan prefectural administration under the previous governor authorized the land reclamation permit, it was stipulated that consultation must be carried out with the Okinawa prefectural government upon implementation of the land reclamation. Regarding this agreement, the defense minister said that consultation would be carried out with the prefectural government when the reclamation work is set to start.

(English translation by T&CT and Sandi Aritza)

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