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Governor Onaga indicates intention to cancel Henoko reclamation

  • 2015-07-30 15:00:00
  • , Asahi
  • Translation

(Asahi: July 30, 2015 – Top Play)

 

 With respect to the plan to relocate the U.S. military’s Futenma Air Station (Ginowan City, Okinawa Prefecture), the Okinawa Prefectural government released on July 29 the whole text of the report made by a third-party commission that pointed out “legal flaws” in the reclamation approval by the former governor. In an interview with this newspaper Governor Takeshi Onaga for the first time expressed his impression after reading the report by saying: “Each point makes sense. Legally speaking, the cancellation is possible. In a sense, the prefectural government can legitimately proceed with the cancellation,” strongly indicating his intention to cancel the approval.

 

 Onaga set up the third party commission to examine the process of approval made by former Governor Hirokazu Nakaima for landfill work off Henoko, Nago City, in the prefecture. After holding 13 meetings in total since February and interviews of the prefectural government personnel, the commission submitted the report on July 16 this month. The prefectural government had only released the outline of the report until now.

 

 The report, uploaded on the prefectural government’s website on July 29, pointed out: “There are strong doubts about the necessity of reclamation” because “maintaining deterrence” and “geographical superiority” don’t sufficiently explain “rejection of relocation outside the prefecture” or “the necessity of Henoko as the relocation site.” Onaga will make the final decision on whether to cancel the reclamation approval at the end of August at the earliest.

 

 Onaga attended a symposium “Thinking About Okinawa and the Mainland” (sponsored by the Asahi Shimbun) held in Tokyo on July 29. In his address, the governor emphasized, “If the government pushes through the reclamation in the teeth of the strong opposition, the Japan-U.S. security arrangements will be at a serious crossroad.” (Abridged)

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