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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 August 29 - September 4  > Henoko reclamation approval revoked
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2018 August 29 - September 4 [POLITICS]

Henoko reclamation approval revoked

September 1, 2018

The Okinawa prefectrual government on August 31 notified the Defense Ministry’s local defense bureau of the revocation of the landfill approval for the construction of a new U.S. base in Henoko. With the revocation, the ongoing Henoko reclamation work loses the legal grounds to continue and operations will be suspended.

Governor Onaga Takashi two weeks before his death in early August announced that Okinawa will soon begin procedures to retract his predecessor’s approval of landfill work in Henoko.

Acting Governor Jahana Kiichiro held a press conference on the same day in the prefectural office building and explained the reasons for the repeal of the Henoko reclamation approval. He first said that the central government launched the reclamation work without prior consultation, which violates requirements for the approval in the first place. Jahana also pointed out that various problems were found after the approval such as the discovery that soft ground and an active fault underlie the seafloor of the landfill area. In addition, he said that the central government-set environmental preservation measures are insufficient to prevent the possible negative impact on the marine environment, including precious corals and engendered species of dugong.

Following the revocation of the Henoko reclamation approval, Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira at a press conference in the Diet building said that the JCP will firmly support the position of the prefectural government.

Koike said, “The Henoko base project will impose yet another burden on Okinawans, which is totally unacceptable. The Abe government should abort the Henoko project without delay.” Citing the recent move toward a peaceful Korean Peninsula, Koike said, “Under this situation, the Abe government’s explanation for the need to construct a new U.S. base is being called into question. It is unacceptable for the government to push forward with the new base construction by sticking to the assertion that a new base in Henoko is the only solution to the Futenma base relocation issue.”

Koike pointed out that while “All Okinawa”-backed gubernatorial election candidate Tamaki Denny fully endorsed the repeal of the approval, his rival backed by the ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei block stopped short of making public his stance.

Past related articles:
> Procedure to retract Henoko landfill approval begins [July 28, 2018]
> Okinawa will begin procedure to revoke landfill approval to stop Henoko project from proceeding [July 20, 2018]
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