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SECURITY > Okinawa

Futenma Replacement Facility construction costs expected to surge

  • December 26, 2019
  • , All national papers
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The Thursday morning editions of all national dailies reported on the Defense Ministry’s latest cost estimate for the Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF) construction off Camp Schwab that was submitted to a panel of experts yesterday. The ministry now expects that the project will cost some 930 billion yen ($85 billion), about 2.7 times more than the previous estimate, because of the massive engineering work needed to reinforce the soft seabed in the vicinity. The overall construction period will be 12 years, four year longer than the original estimate, including nine years and three months for completing the landfill work. As a result, the reversion of MCAS Futenma is estimated to be delayed to the 2030s. The experts are expected to provide technical support for the planned engineering work on the soft seabed. As Okinawa Governor Tamaki is unlikely to approve the FRF design change for the engineering work that the central government plans to submit by next March, the papers projected that an additional construction delay and a further hike in the construction cost are inevitable.     

 

According to the dailies, Okinawa Vice Governor Jahana criticized the GOJ’s updated estimate by telling the press yesterday: “We’ve been saying that the construction period will be much longer than the GOJ estimate. The GOJ’s narrative that the FRF construction is the fastest way to remove the danger associated with MCAS Futenma is no longer valid.” He stressed that it is high time for the GOJ to suspend the landfill work and conduct a review of the entire construction project. Defense Minister Kono, however, emphasized the importance of moving forward with the FRF project and asked the prefectural government for its understanding and cooperation so that the Futenma relocation can be completed as fast as possible.  

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