(Sankei: January 11, 2015 – p.3)
It has been learned on Jan 10 that the Defense Ministry will add 30 billion yen more to 150 billion yen in the defense budget proposal for the FY2015 budget bill as the cost for the planned relocation of Futenma airfield from its current location in Ginowan City, Okinawa Prefecture to Henoko in Nago City. The additional 30 billion yen will be the cost for building facilities. In a Cabinet meeting held on Jan 9, 18.5 billion yen was also allocated in the FY2014 supplementary budget bill for the relocation, which will add up to approximately 200 billion yen, nearly three times more than 74 billion yen allocated in the FY2014 budget.
Although Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga opposes the Futenma relocation to Henoko, the national government makes it clear to proceed with the relocation plan by securing the necessary costs. The suspended marine surveillance will begin within the month.
It is possible that Governor Onaga may not approve the request for changing the method of construction submitted to the prefecture by the Defense Ministry. Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga said in a BS Fuji TV program on Jan 9: “The government will proceed with approved parts. There are no places where the government cannot begin reclamation,” showing his understanding that the governor’s disapproval will not affect the project for a while.
The 18.5 billion yen allocated in the FY 2014 extra budget will be used for shore protection work. The 150 billion yen allocated in the FY2015 budget will be used for landfill work and other purposes.