14:20 GMT +312 December 2019
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    U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors, right, and two F-15 Eagles prepare for take-off at Kadena Air Base on the southern island of Okinawa, in Japan (File)

    Japan to Resume Construction of Airfield for US Troops in Okinawa - Minister

    © AP Photo / Greg Baker
    Asia & Pacific
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    TOKYO (Sputnik) – The Japanese government wants to resume work on the construction of a new airfield for the US armed forces in the southwestern prefecture of Okinawa in the near future, Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said Tuesday.

    "We are carrying out preparations on the site. It depends, in particular, on the weather, but we want to resume work as soon as possible," Iwaya told reporters.

    In August, the Okinawa authorities decided to revoke the permit to carry out a landfill reclamation project off the city of Nago for the relocation of a US military base to the area.

    READ MORE: Okinawa Residents Seek $10 Million in Damages Over US Aircraft Noise Pollution

    In turn, Transport and Tourism Minister Keiichi Ishii said on Tuesday that he rejected this decision of the Okinawa authorities at the request of the Defense Ministry.

    "Based on the analysis of documents submitted by the Defense Ministry and the authorities of Okinawa Prefecture, it was decided to suspend the withdrawal of permission," Ishii stated.

    The work on dumping soil off Nago for the relocation of the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, currently located in Ginowan city, started in mid-2017. Okinawa residents had protested against the deployment of US troops and equipment in the area, citing abuses by US personnel and various accidents during military training.


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