Japan seeks to invalidate moves to block US base relocation work

Updated: 2015-10-15 09:22


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But in addition to prefectural officials, the people of Okinawa wish to see the base relocated outside the prefecture at a bare minimum and ideally out of Japan all together. Okinawan people have been vociferous of late in their opposition to their ongoing base hosting burdens and are calling for the Abe government to better understand the immeasurable suffering that was inflicted on them by the central government during and after WWII.

The current impasse between the central and prefectural government will likely rumble on for some time. If a temporary injunction against Onaga is rejected, the land ministry will likely deliberate whether or not to completely nullify Okinawa's move for a month or longer, sources familiar with the case said Wednesday.

Onaga, who has previously expressed his"strong resentment" towards Abe and Obama's renewed resolve to forge ahead with the unpopular base move, despite the mounting local opposition, is gearing up for the case to be taken to court, where the central government will have to prove that correct measures were mandated to protect the local environment of Nago's pristine Henoko coastal region.

Court action, as sources have confirmed, will ensure that the central government will not be able to proceed with its plans to relocate the base, fortifying the southernmost prefecture's campaign against the move and, even if the flaws are revoked, will significantly delay if not derail the central government's contentious plans.

The central government, for its part, will likely step up its campaign by ordering the cancellation of Onaga's legal move under the prefecture's autonomy law, while the defense bureau will continue to lean on the land ministry to probe the case with the hope of it issuing a suspension to the rescinding, sources have said.

Regardless, officials and locals in Okinawa are universally opposed to the move, which alone is the biggest obstacle the central government is facing and has failed to deal with in its plans to relocate the controversial base.


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