(Tokyo Shimbun: November 18, 2015 – p. 1)
Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Keiichi Ishii filed a case with the Naha Branch of the Fukuoka High Court on Nov. 17, seeking to proceed with “substitute execution” to retract Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga’s cancellation of the landfill permit for the relocation of the U.S. forces’ Futenma Air Station (in Ginowan City) to Henoko, Nago City. Following are the main points of the government’s complaint:
A prefectural governor has no power to examine or determine the appropriateness of matters of extreme importance for national administration, such as issues relating to national defense or foreign policy.
Talks between national government and Okinawa
Intensive discussions took place between Aug. 10 and Sept. 9 but the defendant did not change his position. It has become difficult to rectify the situation other than through substitute execution.
Noise damage to local residents
The government is giving full consideration to possible noise damage to the residents near Henoko and it is deemed that the detrimental effect will be negligible, if any.
The government has been committed to taking environmental conservation measures based on the guidance and recommendations of the “environmental surveillance committee” even after the landfill permit was granted. Full consideration is being given to the environment and the impact will be minimal.
Japan-U.S. alliance, China’s military power
The Japan-U.S. agreement on Henoko relocation is based on security arrangements between the two countries in accordance with the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi hailed the new Security Treaty of 1960 as a “bulwark of freedom and peace.”
In light of the increasingly harsh security environment, as evidenced by the rapid and broad-ranging expansion of China’s military power and its growing activities in the East and South China Sea, inability to execute the bilateral agreement may destroy the relationship of trust with the U.S.
It is unacceptable that the defendant has cancelled the landfill permit. The government seeks a court order to nullify the cancellation.