In November, Japanese Minister of Land Keiichi Ishii filed a lawsuit against Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga, after the latter refused to fulfill Tokyo's recommendations to accept the relocation of a US base, from Okinawa's highly-populated district in the city of Ginowan to the Henoko coastal area of Nago city. Later that month, Okinawa announced it would launch a retaliatory lawsuit against the Tokyo administration in December.
"Is it normal that Okinawa bears the burden [of US military bases] alone? I want to ask people," Onaga said, as quoted by Kyodo news agency.
The Japanese government resumed construction on the new US military base in Okinawa, having negated a late October regional government veto on its relocation.
Okinawa includes less than 1 percent of Japanese territory but hosts some 74 percent of the country's total US military presence.