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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 January 22 - 28  > Gov’t invites bids for US base construction project against local will
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2014 January 22 - 28 [OKINAWA]

Gov’t invites bids for US base construction project against local will

January 22, 2014
In defiance of local citizens’ will, the Okinawa Defense Bureau on January 21 launched tenders for projects to build a new U.S. military base in Nago City in Okinawa.

The publicized tenders are three projects such as design of embankment and reclamation works. The defense authorities plan to sign contracts with successful bidders by the end of March.

In the Nago mayoral election on January 19, the incumbent mayor, who has been opposed to the plan to “relocate” the U.S. Marine’s Futenma Air Station in Ginowan City to Nago within Okinawa, defeated his pro-relocation rival who was strongly backed by the national government.

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo said on January 21 at an executive meeting of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, “Although the mayoral election result was disappointing, I will go ahead with the relocation project.” Defense Minister Onodera Itsunori told reporters that the government will proceed with the plan according to related laws because the governor of Okinawa had already approved the government’s request to reclaim land off the Henoko district in Nago City for the base construction.

Re-elected Nago City Mayor Inamine Susumu said to reporters on the same day, “It’s very insensitive of the national government to open the bidding in disregard of the latest verdict of local residents. The administration is blatantly violating our human rights.”

Ashitomi Hiroshi, a co-leader of the anti-U.S. heliport council, said, “It is a departure from democracy that the government tramples upon local demands and pushes ahead with the construction project. We will make united efforts to support Mayor Inamine and stop the tyranny of the state.”

Past related article:
> Anti-base mayor’s re-election is Okinawans’ verdict [January 21, 2014]
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