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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 August 30 - September 5  >  Supreme Court virtually okays soft-ground improvement work for new US base in Okinawa
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2023 August 30 - September 5 [POLITICS]

Supreme Court virtually okays soft-ground improvement work for new US base in Okinawa

September 5, 2023
The Supreme Court on September 4 essentially gave the nod to the central government request for soft-ground stabilization work approval in order to build a new U.S. base on reclaimed land in the sea off the Henoko district in Okinawa's Nago City.

Reinforcement of soft ground 90 meters below the sea level will involve extensive and difficult work. Following the top court decision, the Okinawa government will have to approve the central government application for the construction design change.

Losing the case in the top court, Okinawa Governor Tamaki Denny held a press conference in the prefectural government office and said, "The judgement ignores local governments' independence and could undermine the purpose of local autonomy stipulated in the Constitution. I am deeply concerned about that."

The governor stated, "Okinawans are firmly opposed to yet another U.S. base to be constructed on our land. This will never be changed," adding that he will explore other possible approaches to block the new base project.

Upon the top court dismissal of the Okinawa appeal, Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira at a press conference held on the same day in the Diet building commented, "It was an unfair judgement."

Koike pointed out that Japan and the United States 27 years ago agreed on the return of the U.S. Marine Corp Futenma Air Station (Ginowan City), and that Okinawans have shown in their votes in opposition to the new base project in a series of local elections and in the past three gubernatorial elections in addition to prefectural referendums.

He said, "The Kishida government should listen to the Okinawans' demand, dismantle the Futenma base, and abandon the Henoko base project." He expressed his determination, saying, "The JCP will continue working together with Okinawans to establish an Okinawa without military bases."

Past related article:
> US House expresses concern about mayonnaise-like seafloor in Henoko [June 26 & 27, 2020]
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