Okinawa Governor files lawsuit countering Japanese government’s decision to suspend his revocation of landfill permit

Okinawa Governor files lawsuit countering Japanese government's decision to suspend his revocation of landfill permit

Members of the legal team for Okinawa Prefectural Government, including lawyer Hiroshi Kato (right), enter the Naha district branch of the Fukuoka High Court to file a lawsuit at 2 p.m. on February 1.


February 2, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo

On February 1, Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga filed a lawsuit with the Naha district branch of the Fukuoka High Court against the Japanese government, seeking to nullify the Japanese government’s decision to suspend his revocation of a landfill permit at Henoko, Nago. This is the third lawsuit between the national government and the prefectural government over Governor Onaga’s revocation of the land reclamation permit. The first oral proceedings will be held on February 15.

The Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Keiichi Ishii decided to stop the effect of the governor’s revocation of permission for the landfill, approving an appeal submitted by the Defense Ministry’s Okinawa Defense Bureau, on October 27, 2015. The prefectural government filed a request in November 2015 with the Committee for Settling National-Local Disputes, a third-party organization set up within the ministry, to review the appropriateness of the minister’s decision. The committee dismissed the prefectural government’s request on December 28, 2015 for the reason that it is “not the subject of the examination”.

It is the first time that a local government has filed with the high court challenging a decision made by the Committee for Settling National-Local Disputes since the organization was set up in 2000.
Onaga said, “We would like to assert our view in a straightforward manner.”

According to the written complaint, the prefectural government claims that the appeal submitted by the Okinawa Defense Bureau asking to stop the effect of the governor’s revocation of the landfill permit was illegal because the Administrative Appeals Act is not intended for use by governmental agencies to file appeals requesting administrative review, therefore, the minister’s decision is illegal.

(English translation by T&CT)

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