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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 February 27 - March 5  > Geologists: Active faults may be beneath US base construction site at Henoko
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2019 February 27 - March 5 [POLITICS]

Geologists: Active faults may be beneath US base construction site at Henoko

March 5, 2019
A group of geologists on March 4 announced that the results of their research verified the possibility that active faults run beneath the construction site of a new U.S. base in Nago City’s Henoko district in Okinawa.

The existence of active faults at the site has long been suspected. The Okinawa prefectural government claims that the presence of potentially active faults is reason enough to not allow the Henoko landfill work to continue. On the other hand, the Japanese government has flatly denied the possibility of the existence of an active fault and has pushed forward with the controversial project.

The Research Group for Applied Geology, which consists of geologists at universities, public institutions, and consulting firms, carried out investigations on the land and sea near the Henoko construction site between March 1 and March 4 with the assumption that if confirmed, the existence of active faults can shake the foundation of the base project. The expert group made observations of slips or incisions on the bedrock and terraces, conducted trench excavation surveys, and checked the condition of the seafloor from a vessel in preparation for sound wave testing.

After wrapping up the studies, the investigation team held a briefing to announce its findings. Team head and Niigata University professor emeritus Tateishi Masaaki said that they discovered geological evidence suggesting that the faults under Henoko moved sometime during the past 6,000 years and that the existence of active faults has become more probable. Tateishi expressed his intent to engage in follow-up research and urge the Okinawa Defense Bureau to disclose all geological data related to the Henoko project.

Past related article:
> Henoko reclamation approval revoked [September 1, 2018]
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