Okinawa governor revokes US base move permit

Tokyo, Oct 13 (IANS) The governor of Japan’s southernmost prefecture of Okinawa on Tuesday revoked a permit to reclaim a coastal area for the relocation of a US military base.

Takeshi Onaga signed a document to revoke the permit issued by his predecessor, public broadcaster NHK reported.

Onaga said that prefecture auhtorities found legal flaws in the landfill permit to relocate the US Marines’ Futenma Air Station and considered it appropriate to cancel the authorisation.

The base is located in a densely populated part of Okinawa. A Japan-US agreement calls for its functions to be moved to the coast of Henoko in Nago city.

Days after the talks between the government and Okinawa authorities ended early last month, Onaga announced his intention to revoke the landfill permit. He has since completed all the legal procedures, such as giving the regional defence bureau a chance to present a rebuttal.

The bureau is now expected to apply with the land minister for a provisional injunction to suspend the revocation and a nullification of the governor’s decision.

Okinawa citizens want the US base moved away permanently from the island.

They believe the relocation will damage the environment and associate US bases with accidents and crime.

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