Japanese government permits US landfill in Okinawa

Tokyo, Nov 9 (IANS) The Japanese government on Monday permitted a landfill in Okinawa for the relocation of a US base.

The action is likely to lead to a court battle between the central and local governments since Okinawa is opposed to relocating the base within the prefecture, public broadcaster NHK reported.

The central government, under a plan agreed with the US 19 years ago, is trying to relocate the Marine Corps Futenma Air Station from a densely populated area in Ginowan City to Henoko.

Governor Takeshi Onaga retracted the landfill permit issued by his predecessor.

Last week, Onaga also rejected the government’s recommendation to withdraw his retraction, saying his action was legal.

The government has planned to seek a high court’s authorisation for the state to permit the landfill project instead of the prefectural governor.

If carried out, it will be the first such action by the central government against a local government in 15 years.

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