TOKYO (Sputnik) — The construction of a relocated US Marine Corps Air Station in Nago attracted media attention in recent months amid opposition rallies by local residents outraged over sex crimes committed by US servicemen in the area.
Takeshi Onaga, the prefecture's current governor, said at a press conference Monday he would revoke a drilling license if the local defense ministry branch refused to suspend underwater works. This may cause all construction of the Marine Corps station to freeze, possibly affecting relations between Tokyo and Washington.
Relocating the station requires creating an artificial landmass of nearly 160 hectares (0.62 square miles) in coastal waters. The construction of the station and two landing strips, each 1.8 kilometers long (1.1 miles), is expected to take nine years.
Okinawa's current leadership advocates the relocation of the Marine Corps Air Station from the densely populated city of Ginowan to outside the country altogether.