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SECURITY > Okinawa

Local residents sue state over U.S. base relocation to Henoko

  • January 30, 2019
  • , Jiji Press , 11:05 a.m.
  • English Press

Naha, Okinawa Pref., Jan. 30 (Jiji Press) — Residents around the Henoko coastal area in Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, have sued the Japanese government over the planned relocation of a U.S. military base to Henoko from another place in the southern prefecture.

In the lawsuit filed with Naha District Court on Tuesday, the plaintiffs sought the cancellation of the land minister’s decision last year to invalidate the prefectural government’s revocation of its approval for landfilling at Henoko.

They claimed that the minister’s decision was “clearly illegal and unfair.”

In Henoko, the central government is carrying out landfill work to build a new U.S. military facility that will take over the functions of the Marine Corps’ Futenma air base in a densely-populated district in Ginowan.

The relocation plan is based on the 1996 Tokyo-Washington agreement on the return of the Futenma base site to Japan.

Following the cancellation of the landfilling approval in August last year, the Defense Ministry’s Okinawa Defense Bureau filed a complaint about the move by the prefectural government under the administrative complaint review act in October in the same year. Later in that month, the land minister decided to suspend the validity of the approval revocation.

In the lawsuit, the local residents also asked the court to order a pause in the implementation of the minister’s decision.

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