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Okinawa Governor to Overturn US Military Base Approval

Sputnik – 10.07.2015

TOKYO — Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture Governor Takeshi Onaga is expected to revoke his predecessor’s approval for a US military base, local media reported Friday, citing sources.

Construction plans for the relocation of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma to a less populated area in the prefecture are part of a 2006 intergovernmental agreement. In recent months, there have been renewed clashes between the local population and police over environmental concerns and opposition to the US military presence.

An advisory panel is due to submit a report to Onaga by the end of July, outlining the flawed nature of the previous governor’s approval, providing grounds for its cancellation, sources told Kyodo news agency.

Onaga, governor since December 2014 and former mayor of a coastal area near MCAS Futenma’s new location, has previously voiced opposition to the project.

In December 2013, his predecessor, Hirokazu Nakaima, approved a Japanese government application to reclaim land in the Henoko coastal area to enable construction at the site of the new base, 30 miles northeast of its current location in Ginowan.

Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani and his US counterpart Ashton Carter reaffirmed the relocation plan this April.

Over half of the 47,000 US troops deployed in Japan are based in Okinawa. Military sites are estimated to account for nearly 18 percent of the prefecture’s entire land mass.

July 10, 2015 - Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , ,

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