Extra edition:Okinawa Governor approves Henoko landfill for relocation of U.S Futenma base

December 27, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima held a press conference at his official residence in Naha at 3:00 p.m. on December 27. He announced that he has approved the government’s application for a landfill at Henoko in preparation for relocating the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. Nakaima said, “At this stage the government is taking all the measures it can to protect the environment. I have therefore judged that the application meets the standards set out under the Public Water Body Reclamation Act.” He requested that the people of Okinawa accept this decision.

The governor commented on how his decision was consistent with his election promise to demand that the Futenma base be moved outside the prefecture. Nakaima said, “I still think that moving the facilities at Futenma to existing airfields outside the prefecture is the quickest way to resolve this issue.” He then emphasized that “The government needs to consider all options for relocation outside Okinawa so as to stop operations at Futenma within five years. This is the case whether they go ahead with the Henoko relocation, or if it is a temporary measure.”

The governor said, “The consideration for Okinawa shown by the Abe Cabinet is stronger than that of previous cabinets.” Nakaima indicated that he appreciated the increase in budget for the promotion of economic development in Okinawa. He added that he approved the landfill based on the prime minister’s responses to his requests, including proposed measures to reduce Okinawa’s base burden.
Nakaima stated that he has no intention of resigning to take responsibility for the decision to permit the landfill.

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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