Japan: Ministry Submits Application for Land Reclamation
The central government has submitted an application to the Governor of Okinawa for permission to reclaim land off Henoko, Nago in order to commence the relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.
At 3:40pm on March 22, officials of the Okinawa Defense Bureau delivered the documents to a local office of the Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG). They also presented a letter of consent from the Nago Fisheries Cooperative, which has the fishing rights for the sea off the coast. If all the documents are in order, the OPG will accept the application in the course of the next week.
Governor Hirokazu Nakaima will decide whether or not he will allow the landfill, after hearing from the Nago mayor and others, in a term of from six and a half months to eight and a half months.
Governor Nakaima and all the heads of the 41 municipalities have been calling for the relocation of the facilities currently at Futenma to somewhere outside the prefecture. The Okinawa Prefectural Assembly is considering adopting a protest resolution and submitting a written statement of opinion to the central government.
Protests from Okinawa are bound to increase given that the Abe administration clearly intends to force through the Henoko relocation. The application documents state that the landfill area, including five hectares to be used for work-yards, will be about 160 hectares, with a total landfill soil volume of about 21 million cubic meters.
It will take five years to complete the landfill.
Source: ryukyushimpo, March 29, 2013