(Sankei: November 17, 2015 – p. 2)
The Defense Ministry decided on Nov. 16 on a plan to begin building seawalls off Henoko in preparation for relocation there of the U.S. military’s Futenma base. The government already began on Oct. 29 onshore work such as the preparation of workshops at the U.S. Marine Corps Camp Schwab. This is the first time for the government to begin offshore work in this project. One year has passed since Governor Takeshi Onaga, who called for blocking the Henoko relocation as a campaign pledge, was elected on Nov. 16 last year. Onaga recently nullified the landfill permit, but the government is steadily moving forward with the Henoko relocation.
Building seawalls involves the piling of stones to enclose offshore waters. The work will begin in shallows off Henoko. After this work is completed, caissons will be placed on the seabed. Within the caissons construction of the seawall at greater depths will be undertaken.
In parallel with the offshore work, contractors will make workshops and a temporary road for the transport of materials while the government continues surveying the seabed. Reclamation of the sea within the seawalls is projected to begin next fall.
On Oct 13, Onaga rescinded the landfill approval. As Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Keiichi Ishii suspended Onaga’s action, the government can continue work on the project. In order to implement executive proxy so that the minister can void the cancellation of the landfill permit on behalf of Onaga, the government is expected to file a suit today with the Naha branch of the Fukuoka High Court.