Henoko landfill work put on hold for a month to ease tensions with Okinawa - AJW by The Asahi Shimbun
August 04, 2015
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
Tokyo will suspend reclamation work off the Henoko district in Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, for a month from Aug. 10 to help ease strains with the prefectural government over moves to relocate a key U.S. military base.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga announced Aug. 4 that the central government will hold intensive consultations with the Okinawan prefectural authorities about the planned relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan to Henoko.
Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga also announced the same day that his government will not take legal and legislative measures to block the landfill project during the one-month period.
During a news conference in Tokyo, Suga, the government’s top spokesman, said he will visit Okinawa at an early date to exchange opinions with Onaga.
The suspension of the project does not represent a change of our policy, but is intended to give us time to fully explain our principles,” Suga said. “We are also willing to hear the opinions of the Okinawa side.”
Onaga, meanwhile, said at a news conference in Naha on Aug. 4 that he will make it clear again during his discussions with the central government officials that it is impossible to relocate the Futenma functions to Henoko.