Okinawa governor issued go-ahead signal for new US base

AP has it that Okinawa governor Hirokazu Nakaima approved a land reclamation proposal to accommodate a new US base, replacing the U.S. Marine Corps base in Futenma.

On Friday, the Japanese Defense Ministry applied for a land reclamation to give way to a new US base - a move to consolidate the massive U.S. troop presence on the southern Japanese island, albeit protests from the residents.
okinawa land reclamation for US base
However, Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima promised to go on with the efforts of removing the Futenma-based US troops out of the Okinawa entirely. Although he noted that the activity may require more or less 9 years to build the base. The governor told media:
My thinking remains it would be fastest to relocate outside (Okinawa) prefecture to a place where there is already an airport
Nakaima said, he made the land reclamation approval due to the fact that it met all environmental requirements.

On the other hand, head of the assembly in Nago city, Yuichi Higa said, what the governor has done is somewhat "unforgivable".
Residents who are opposed will surely resort to the use of force, such as blocking roads to stop this from happening.
In support of Higa, an oppositions group head Hiroshi Ashitomi said, his members would file a lawsuit against the governor's land reclamation approval.

Removing the US forces from Okinawa has been a long time agreement, which was signed in 1996. Many times over, it has been delayed. (Source: http://seattletimes.com)

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