Okinawa appeals ruling for US base relocation plans

Tokyo, Sep 23 (IANS) Okinawa authorities on Friday lodged an appeal against a high court ruling supporting the Japanese government’s controversial move to relocate a US base within the prefecture.

Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga was initially shot down by the Fukuoka High Court’s September 16 ruling which found that Onaga’s revocation of a landfill permit last October was “illegal”.

The governor is a staunch advocate of blocking plans to relocate the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from the crowded residential area of Ginowan to the less populated coastal area of Nago in Henoko — also on the island, Xinhua news agency reported.

Okinawa lodged its appeal just one day after a US fighter Harrier jet based in Okinawa crashed into waters off the island’s coast, highlighting the safety risks posed by them.

Japan’s Defence Minister Tomomi Inada also slammed the US military here and demanded that such an incident not be allowed to happen again.

Onaga said he will contest the high court’s decision in the Supreme Court within the current fiscal.

–IANS

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