Asahi, Yomiuri, Nikkei, and Sankei wrote that the Ministry of Defense on Tuesday took action to counter the Okinawa Prefectural Government’s rejection of its application for design changes to the construction of the Futenma Replacement Facility at Henoko. The ministry’s Okinawa Defense Bureau filed a complaint with Land Minister Saito under the administrative appeal act, demanding a review of the move by the Okinawa government. In April 2020, the GOJ filed the design change application to drive over 70,000 piles into the soft seabed in a section of the waters subject to reclamation for the Futenma replacement facility off the coast of Henoko. Last month, the Okinawa government turned down the central government’s application, saying that necessary research on the deepest point of the soft soil had not been carried out and that the central government has failed to fully address the possible impact of the design changes on the local environment.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno told reporters on Tuesday that the GOJ will make utmost efforts to realize the complete return of the Futenma base as soon as possible. Okinawa Governor Tamaki also told the press on Tuesday that the prefectural government’s decision to reject the GOJ’s application was legally appropriate and that the central government should immediately suspend the construction at Henoko and hold dialogue with Okinawa.