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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Construction for US base relocation in Okinawa continues amid protests (VIDEOS)

Published time: 25 Apr, 2017 17:12 Get short URL A crane barge works in the Henoko coastal area in Nago, Okinawa © AFP Construction for a new US military base on the Japanese island of Okinawa has taken another step forward, despite ongoing protests against the heavy American military presence and crimes committed by servicemen. Cranes could be seen lifting nets containing crushed rock and dropping them along the shore north of nearby Camp Schwab on Tuesday, according to videos posted by Japanese media. The rocks will likely serve as the foundation of a seawall built along the outer perimeter of the planned runway site, according to The Asahi Shimbun.  The move represents a step forward in the controversial relocation of the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station from Ginowan to the less-populated area of Henoko, in Nago. Full-fledged landfill work inside the sea walls is set to take place in the first half of next year. It comes despite protests against the relocation from Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga and disgruntled residents, all of whom want Okinawa freed of the base and the heavy US military presence on the island. Katsuhiro Yoshida, a senior Okinawa prefectural official tasked with dealing with issues concerning US bases in the prefecture, said the move “ignored the local will” and is “authoritarian,” adding that local citizens simply cannot accept it. Read more Japan's Okinawa governor hits out at US bases during Washington visit Onaga is considering blocking the construction through legal action, claiming the central government is required to obtain his permission for the construction work, and that the last such permit expired at the end of March. The governor has also threatened to retract approval for the landfill work, according to Kyodo news agency. Onaga’s previous efforts against the base relocation were thwarted, with Japan’s Supreme Court ruling in December that it is illegal for the governor to revoke the approval for land reclamation, which was granted by his predecessor,

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