April 25, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo
On the morning of April 25, the Japanese government began embankment work in Henoko, Nago as the first stage of land reclamation work for Futenma Air Station's replacement facility. At 9:20 a.m., workers began lowering crushed stones into the water by crane.
The Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG) is pointing out the Japanese government's procedural deficiencies, such as failure to consult with the OPG prior to putting concrete blocks under the water for silt curtain installation, or to recognize the importance of applying for the governor's renewal of the coral fracturing permit. However, even in the face of the OPG and many Okinawans' opposition to relocating bases within Okinawa, the Japanese government is forcing construction through. Now, 21 years after the 1996 Futenma return agreement, Henoko base construction has entered the land reclamation phase.
Governor of Okinawa Takeshi Onaga has declared that he will exhaust all methods to obstruct construction of the Henoko base. From here, attention is focused on how long it will take Onaga to file the OPG lawsuit to stop construction and to revoke the land reclamation permit.
Piling up crushed stones in the ocean is meant to enclose the area where land reclamation will take place with a levee. As soon as a portion of this levee is complete, land reclamation work will proceed through depositing earth and soil into the ocean. Once a large quantity of stone and soil has been deposited, restoring the ocean to its original state will prove difficult.
As for some background in the matter of Henoko base construction, in December 2013 the then-governor Hirokazu Nakaima approved the land reclamation permit. However, in November 2014 Onaga won Okinawa's gubernatorial election on the platform of stopping new base construction in Henoko, and in October 2015 canceled his predecessor's land reclamation permit. The Japanese government brought a lawsuit against the OPG that cancellation of this permit was illegal, and in December 2016 the Supreme Court of Japan decided in favor of the Japanese government in this case.
On April 25 at 9:20 a.m., laborers begin laying crushed stone for embankment work, the first stage of land reclamation.
(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)
Next Article:Governor Onaga to seek injunction to block seawall construction for new US base off Henoko
Original Page: http://english.ryukyushimpo.jp/2017/04/28/26906/
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