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Yomiuri: it may take an additional 10 years to relocate the U.S. air base in Okinawa.
Yomiuri: it may take an additional 10 years to relocate the U.S. air base in Okinawa.
One of the factors behind the delay was the research in the bay, the newspaper reported.

The process of relocating the U.S. Marine Corps Futemma Air Base from one area of Okinawa Prefecture to another could take considerably longer than originally planned and could take an additional 10 years. This was reported by The Yomiuri Shimbun on Sunday.

The initial schedule provided that the relocation of the military facility will be completed in fiscal year 2022 or slightly later. However, various legal proceedings between the authorities in Okinawa and the central Japanese government have led to a five-year delay in the start of relocation. As a result, bulk work in Henoko Bay, where the base will be located, only began late last year, not in 2013.

Another factor in the postponement was the research in the bay, which made it clear that the soil was extremely weak in some places. To bring the facility in line with all safety standards, it is necessary to hammer about 70 thousand piles. These works will require a lot of resources and time. Thus, the relocation of the base will not be completed until the first half of 2030s.

75% of the American military facilities in Japan are concentrated on the island of Okinawa, which causes discontent among the local population. Its symbol is the U.S. Marine Corps Air Base Futemma, which is located in a densely populated area of Hinovan and is a source of constant incidents. Back in 1996, Tokyo and Washington agreed to remove the facility from there. In 1999, it was decided to relocate it to northern Okinawa (Henoko District), partly on embankment islands.

In 2013, after long negotiations, the Okinawa authorities agreed to begin these works. However, in 2015, the then governor of Takeshi Onaga Prefecture overturned the decision. He demanded the removal of the American base outside of Okinawa.

The governor has consistently lost a series of legal proceedings in this regard, but has persistently prohibited the start of work on the base relocation. In the midst of the battle, Onaga died, and Danny Tamaki, an opposition activist elected in his place, also announced that he would seek to remove the U.S. facility from Okinawa. However, a number of lawsuits ended in favor of the central government, and work to relocate the base from Ginovan city to Hanoko district was resumed.

Yomiuri: it may take an additional 10 years to relocate the U.S. air base in Okinawa.

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Опубликовано: 22.12.19



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