Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo ran front-page reports saying that Governor Onaga instructed the Okinawa Defense Bureau on Tuesday to halt the ongoing installation of concrete blocks on the ocean floor off Camp Schwab on the grounds that the bureau “has failed to provide sufficient explanations” on the status of the operation. Since the bureau is set to proceed with the operation because such administrative instructions are not legally binding, the dailies projected that the Okinawa leader will consider taking additional steps, including filing a new lawsuit and revoking the landfill permit.
According to NHK, Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga underscored that the Abe administration does not plan to comply with the governor’s instructions by telling the press this morning: “No procedural mistakes have been made in undertaking the operation…. We will move ahead with it based on the relevant laws and statutes while giving maximum consideration to the natural environment and living conditions of the local residents.”
In a related story, Okinawa Times wrote that some senior ruling coalition officials are responding cautiously to Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga’s suggestion on Monday that the central government might seek damages from the governor to be paid out of his personal funds if he continues to sabotage the FRF construction. LDP Secretary General Nikai and Komeito Chief Representative Yamaguchi on Tuesday voiced skepticism about the feasibility of the idea on account of its negative implications.