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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 March 20 - 26  > Okinawa takes central government to court
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2019 March 20 - 26 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Okinawa takes central government to court

March 23, 2019

The Okinawa prefectural government on March 22 again filed a lawsuit against the central government with the Fukuoka District Court Naha Branch over the issue of Henoko landfill work for the construction of a new U.S. base in Okinawa's Nago City.

Just three days earlier, Okinawa Governor Tamaki Denny in a meeting with Prime Minister Abe Shinzo directly demanded a temporary halt to the Henoko landfill work in order to secure enough time for Okinawa-Tokyo discussions. Nevertheless, Tokyo conveyed its intent to continue to pour sand and dirt into the reclamation site as scheduled. Therefore, Okinawa decided to bring the case to court again.

Governor Tamaki issued a statement saying that Okinawa had repeatedly sought a resolution through dialogue, wishing to avoid litigation, and criticized the central government for having dismissed the Okinawans' petition out of hand. He in the statement said that proceeding with the work to fill the Henoko offshore area with additional earth and dirt is "extremely regrettable" and expressed that he will continue to seek a resolution through dialogue.

In August of last year, the Okinawa prefectural government withdrew the reclamation approval, but the Okinawa Defense Bureau requested the Land Minister for a stay of execution of the nullification of the landfill approval. In November, the Minister decided to reject the prefectural government's cancellation of the landfill permit. In response to this, Okinawa requested a third-party organ, the Central and Local Government Dispute Management Council which is under the Ministry of Internal Affairs, to examine the legality of the Minister's decision. However, in January of this year, Okinawa's request was rejected. Okinawa in the newly-launched legal battle will strive to win an annulment of the Minister's decision.

Past related articles:
> Abe gov’t forcibly begins filling landfill areas in sea off Henoko [December 15, 2018]
> State launches attack on Okinawa’s revocation of Henoko landfill approval [October 18, 2018]
> Henoko reclamation approval revoked [September 1, 2018]
> Land Minister issues decision to allow Henoko landfill work to be resumed [October 31, 2018]

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