Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo wrote that Defense Minister Kono told the press on Tuesday that Henoko is the “only option” for relocating the functions of MCAS Futenma and that there is no need to revisit the existing relocation plan because it is “reasonable” from the standpoint of cost and duration.
The two papers ran editorials on Kono’s announcement to halt the process to deploy the Aegis Ashore missile defense system and its possible impact on the FRF construction in Okinawa. Ryukyu Shimpo wrote: “The Defense Minister cited technical issues for halting the Aegis Ashore deployment. However, there are major technical problems with the project to construct a new base at Henoko as well. The existing relocation plan appears unfeasible because the soft seabed is as soft as mayonnaise in Oura Bay. More than 70% of those who voted expressed opposition to the Henoko plan in a prefectural referendum. Residents in Okinawa have expressed their opposition more clearly than the people at candidate sites for the Aegis Ashore deployment have. The GOJ should give up on the construction of a new base at Henoko.” Okinawa Times also wrote that the Henoko plan should be canceled.