All national dailies reported on Monday on Defense Minister Kono’s meeting with Okinawa Governor Tamaki on Sunday during his first visit to the prefecture after assuming his current post. The papers wrote that they remained apart on the issue of Futenma relocation, with Kono calling for Okinawa’s understanding for the project and Tamaki insisting that the GOJ halt construction. The governor told the defense minister at the outset of the meeting that the Okinawan people firmly oppose the landfill project and urged the central government to cease construction and hold dialogue with the prefecture. Kono told Tamaki that the construction will allow the complete closure of Futenma Air Station and the return of the land, adding that it is necessary to relocate the base to Henoko as early as possible.
In a related report, Asahi wrote that the GOJ is planning to come up with a new schedule and cost estimate for the Henoko project because it has become necessary to make design changes to reinforce the soft seabed in the area. The paper wrote that the GOJ is hoping to announce the new schedule and cost estimate by year end, speculating that the cost will likely rise significantly.