Japan gov't files new suit against Okinawa over US base

Resurrects feud over plans to relocate US air base within prefecture hosting most of US military establishment in Japan

Japan gov't files new suit against Okinawa over US base

World Bulletin / News Desk

Japan’s government filed a new lawsuit against Okinawa’s governor Friday, resurrecting a long-running feud over plans to relocate a United States military base within the southern prefecture.

Okinawa and Tokyo have been trying to undermine each other’s efforts over the Futenma Air Station since 2015 when Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga revoked a landfill approval by his predecessor.

Both sides filed a series of suits over its planned relocation from densely populated Ginowan city to reclaimed land on the less populated shore of Henoko, before a court-mediated settlement was reached in March.

Kyodo news agency reported Friday that the latest legal action, submitted to the Naha branch of the Fukuoka High Court, argues that Onaga acted illegally by not adhering to an earlier state order demanding that his revocation be retracted.

The high court branch had facilitated the March settlement, which halted relocation-related construction work and directed both sides to hold talks on the matter.

Onaga won the 2014 gubernatorial election with a pledge to oppose the relocation, and in June, candidates sharing his stance secured a majority in Okinawa’s prefectural assembly.

The people of Okinawa have long felt oppressed by hosting around two-thirds of the entire U.S. military establishment in Japan since the end of World War II.

Criticism of the U.S. presence has mounted in recent weeks following the arrests of a number of people employed at the country’s bases in the prefecture.

Last month, prosecutors charged a former U.S. marine working on an American military base in the rape and murder of an Okinawa woman.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Temmuz 2016, 09:34