The base will be moved from Okinawa's highly-populated district in the city of Ginowan to the Henoko coastal area of Nago city, the Kyodo news agency reported.
The Japanese military’s controversial plan was given a go-ahead after the Land and Infrastructure Ministry voided Okinawa governor’s decision to revoke his predecessor’s approval of the relocation.
The relocation has been stalled amid protests against the continued US military presence in the country and environmental concerns that the new base will endanger local wildlife.
Okinawa governor Takeshi Onaga, who wants the base to be moved out of his prefecture, has vowed to challenge Tokyo's decision in court.
Some 100 residents of Japan’s Okinawa prefecture are protesting against renewed relocation of the US military base within the region, local media reported Thursday.
According to the NHK broadcaster, the people have been protesting at the construction site since the early morning. Some 200 law enforcement officers have been called to the scene.