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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 October 14 - 20  > Okinawa Governor cancels landfill approval for US base construction in Henoko
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2015 October 14 - 20 [POLITICS]

Okinawa Governor cancels landfill approval for US base construction in Henoko

October 14, 2015
Okinawa Governor Onaga Takeshi on October 13 announced that he canceled his predecessor’s approval for the reclamation work for a project to construct a U.S. base in Nago’s Henoko district in the prefecture.

As the public water area reclamation law stipulates that those who fill public waters should obtain permission from the governor of the area, Onaga’s decision has made it illegal for the national government to continue the highly-criticized Henoko reclamation work.

In response to Onaga’s decision, the national government intends to file a claim with the Land Minister, who has jurisdiction over the reclamation law, for an administrative complaint against the governor’s decision and for a suspension of the cancellation of the approval.

In mid-July, a third party panel set up by the Okinawa government issued a report that found legal flaws in the former governor’s approval of the landfill project. Based on this report, the governor proceeded with his plan to cancel the approval and officially declared the cancellation.

As reasons for the decision, Onaga pointed out that the necessity of the Henoko reclamation work was not adequately presented in the application document and that appropriate environment protection measures were not in place.

At a press conference held in the prefectural government office building on the same day, Onaga expressed his determination to fulfill his election promise to block the Henoko base construction. He said that it is totally unacceptable that a huge military base is constructed in Henoko and that the U.S. military will use it for a projected 200 years in defiance of Okinawans’ strong opposition.

Onaga also said that the systems of administrative complaint and suspension of executions are to protect the rights of individuals from acts of administrative organs and added that the national government should not be legally entitled to use these systems which were created to protect individuals from administrative abuse of power. The Okinawa government will reportedly take the case to court to counterattack the ploy used by the national government.

Past related articles:
> Okinawa begins procedure to revoke approval for landfill in Henoko [September 15, 2015]
> Okinawa governor considers canceling approval of reclamation work at Henoko [July 17, 2015]
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