Okinawa Base Transfer Costs More Than Expected

Okinawa Base Transfer Costs More Than Expected 28 December, 2019


The US Defence Ministry said Wednesday it now estimates the costs to relocate the Futenma Air Station to the coastal area of Henoko will more than double the current budget to $8.5 billion and the construction period needs to be extended to over nine years.

Washington plans to push ahead with the relocation of a U.S. air base within Okinawa Prefecture despite the overwhelming public opposition expressed in a referendum on Sunday, recognising the outpost's strategic importance to the region. Okinawans rejected the relocation of a U.S. airbase Sunday with over 70% of votes cast in opposition.

Over the last five decades, there have been various plans for the relocation of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, a United States Marine Corps base located within the urban area of Ginowan City in Okinawa, Japan.

Local opposition within Okinawa regarding the facility has so far hindered efforts to begin construction. As of August 2015, the Japanese government had agreed to halt construction activities temporarily while talks with Okinawan officials continued. Still, US sources insisted nothing about their approach had changed.

In October 2015, despite strong opposition in Okinawa, the Japanese central government began work to build the base in the Henoko Bay, in Nago. The issue has been taken to court by both parties in November 2015 and December 2015. After a tentative court-mediated settlement in March 2016, the national government sued Okinawa governor Takeshi Onaga in July and obtained a High Court ruling in September determining that it was illegal for Onaga to revoke his predecessor's permission for landfill work at the new site. The Supreme Court of Japan indicated in December that it would let this judgment stand, opening a door for the relocation work to proceed.

Okinawa Base Transfer Costs More Than Expected

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