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Okinawa Governor Says No to US Base Relocation, Citing Ecological Concerns

© AFP 2021 / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURAA file picture taken on April 24, 2010 shows planes and helicopters stationed at the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma base in Ginowan, Okinawa prefecture
A file picture taken on April 24, 2010 shows planes and helicopters stationed at the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma base in Ginowan, Okinawa prefecture - Sputnik International
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Takeshi Onaga told reporters he is set to make a "critical decision" about the Futenma's construction, according to the Nikkei daily.

TOKYO, September 14 (Sputnik) – The governor of the southernmost Japanese prefecture of Okinawa will revoke his predecessor’s approval to relocate a controversial US military base from the region, local media reported Monday.

© AP Photo / Yoshikazu Tsuno/Pool PhotoOkinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga, center, speaks to the media after meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Abe's office in Tokyo Friday, Aug. 7, 2015
Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga, center, speaks to the media after meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Abe's office in Tokyo Friday, Aug. 7, 2015 - Sputnik International
Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga, center, speaks to the media after meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Abe's office in Tokyo Friday, Aug. 7, 2015

Abe’s chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga announced last month that the relocation of the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma would be postponed to September.

The publication said Tokyo resumed relocation work at Futenma on Saturday.

Onaga’s announcement yields to a three-week procedure, including consultations with the Okinawa Defense Bureau. A formal announcement is expected in mid-October.

A slogan against the base is displayed on the fence enclosed U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station in Ginowan on southern Japanese islands of Okinawa. File photo - Sputnik International
Japan Gov't Postpones US Air Base Relocation Until September
The Japanese daily stated Abe’s administration is expected to request an administrative review by the land ministry, raising the possibility of a court dispute.

Construction plans for the MCAS relocation from Okinawa's highly-populated district in the city of Ginowan to Henoko, on the coastal city of Nago, triggered confrontations over environmental concerns and opposition to the US military presence in Japan.

In April, Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani and his US counterpart Ashton Carter reaffirmed the relocation plan, a part of a 2006 intergovernmental agreement on the original 2014 deadline for the US base relocation.

Over half of 47,000 US troops deployed in Japan are based in Okinawa. The prefecture was controlled by the US authorities between 1945-1972. US military bases deployed in Okinawa occupy about 10 percent of the prefecture's territory and 18 percent of Okinawa Island.

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