Okinawa governor loses battle in base-relocation war

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Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga, right, walks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a memorial service last year honoring the fallen men and women of the Battle of Okinawa at Okinawa Peace Memorial Park. Okinawan courts ruled against anti-base governor Friday, Sept 16, 2016, saying his failure to retract the revocation of a landfill permit central to Marine Corps Air Station Futenma's relocation is illegal. (Royce Dorman/U.S. Marine Corps)
From Stripes.com
Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga, right, walks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a memorial service last year honoring the fallen men and women of the Battle of Okinawa at Okinawa Peace Memorial Park. Okinawan courts ruled against anti-base governor Friday, Sept 16, 2016, saying his failure to retract the revocation of a landfill permit central to Marine Corps Air Station Futenma's relocation is illegal. (Royce Dorman/U.S. Marine Corps)

Okinawa governor loses battle in base-relocation war

by: Matthew M. Burke and Chiyomi Sumida | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: September 17, 2016

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — A Japanese court ruled Friday that Okinawa’s anti-bases governor acted illegally by revoking a permit to reclaim land for relocating Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.

Gov. Takeshi Onaga said he would appeal to the Japanese Supreme Court to overturn Friday’s unanimous decision by the three-judge panel of the Fukuoaka High Court. That would set the stage for a final showdown on the controversial base relocation.

Onaga wants the air station moved off Okinawa. The Japanese central government wants the base moved to a less populated part of the island in an issue which has stalled for 20 years.

"I am astonished by the one-sided ruling,” Onaga said after Friday’s ruling by the Okinawa branch of the Fukuoaka High Court. “The judgment gives far too much power to the central government. It will trigger further protests from the people of Okinawa."

According to attorneys for the prefectural government, the appeal has to be filed within seven days.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga welcomed the ruling.

He told reporters that the construction at Henoko would remain suspended until all of the litigation had been exhausted.

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