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POLITICS

Okinawa governor to demand explanation for lack of access to waters off Henoko

  • 2015-06-19 15:00:00
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(Akahata: June 19, 2015 – p.4)

 

 Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga announced on June 18 in a press conference at the prefectural government that he will demand that the Okinawa Defense Bureau explain why the prefectural government office is not authorized to have access for site inspection of the restricted waters temporarily set up off Henoko for construction of the new U.S. military base in Nago City. The Okinawa Defense Bureau conducted a survey in the restricted waters. The prefectural government office suspects that the defense bureau destroyed reefs in an area outside the zone authorized by the previous prefectural administration. The prefectural government has requested permission to conduct a site inspection in the restricted waters, but the U.S. military has not given permission even four months after the request.

 

 In the meantime, the defense bureau is continuing the survey in the restricted area. Onaga said, “The prefectural government needs to have proper information on the prefectural government’s application for access, and to take appropriate action,” calling for the defense bureau to provide all the related documents such as the request for access to the U.S. military. The governor also sent the request in writing to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, calling for the ministry to facilitate the prefectural government’s access for the site inspection.

 

 In the press conference, Onaga said: “It is obviously strange that the defense bureau is authorized to conduct the survey but not us. The fact that our request to conduct a site inspection is not authorized makes us wonder whether they are hiding something inconvenient for them.

 

 Onaga also pointed out that buoys and floats set up by the defense bureau need to be removed after the seabed survey is completed. If unremoved, the prefectural government, the governor said, “will take appropriate measures” such as issuing a written advisory.

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