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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 August 5 - 11  > Okinawans granted one-month suspension of Henoko construction work
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2015 August 5 - 11 [POLITICS]

Okinawans granted one-month suspension of Henoko construction work

August 5, 2015
Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide on August 4 at a press conference announced that the ongoing work for the construction of a new U.S. military facility in the sea off Henoko in Okinawa’s Nago City will be suspended for a month from August 10. This apparently reflected a report of the prefecture’s third party panel which found flaws in the former governor’s approval for the landfill project at Henoko.

Later on the same day, Okinawa Governor Onaga Takeshi held a press conference in the prefectural government office building. He said that during the suspension period, the prefecture will negotiate intensively with Tokyo for the Henoko base issue. He added that in the negotiation he will maintain the firm stance that the construction of a new U.S. base in Henoko is impossible.

Onaga also said that he will not proceed to legal and administrative measures, such as cancellation of his predecessor’s approval, during the one-month suspension of the on-sea work.

Furthermore, the governor announced his plan to enter the central government-set no-entry zone in the Henoko district to investigate whether the preparatory work in the zone damages the seafloor in violation of the prefectural rules regarding landfill work. Tokyo has refused Okinawa’s request to enter the zone.

Japanese Communist Party member of the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly Toguchi Osamu said that the Abe government is being forced into a corner and expressed his determination to checkmate both the government-proposed war bills and the Henoko base construction plan.

Commenting on Tokyo’s announcement, Nago City Mayor Inamine Susumu said to reporters, “Okinawan people’s protest actions in front of the gate of U.S. Camp Schwab and in the sea area off Henoko pushed Tokyo to decide to halt the preparatory work for a month. Okinawans’ protest actions are receiving many favorable responses from outside the prefecture. We will continue to disseminate our fight to the world.”

Past related articles:
> Okinawa governor considers canceling approval of reclamation work at Henoko [ July 17, 2015]
> Okinawa prefectural government investigates damage to coral reefs in Henoko [ February 27, 2015]
> Okinawa Gov. orders halt to preparation work for US base construction [ February 17, 2015]
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