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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 July 13 - 19  > Gov. Onaga condemns Tokyo for restarting US military helipad construction in Okinawa
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2016 July 13 - 19 [US FORCES]

Gov. Onaga condemns Tokyo for restarting US military helipad construction in Okinawa

July 15, 2016
Okinawa Governor Onaga Takeshi on July 14 in a meeting with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Sugita Kazuhiro at the prefectural office building condemned Tokyo for resuming preparation work for constructing military helipads at the U.S. Northern Training Area on the day after the July 10 House of Councilors election.

In the meeting, Onaga said, “As long as the central government keeps taking such a stance, to establish a good relationship (between Okinawa and Tokyo) is impossible.”

Since the early morning of July 11, the central government has been carrying out works related to the controversial helipad construction in the Takae community in Higashi Village in defiance of local opposition. On the day when Onaga and Sugita held the meeting, 30 trailers carrying equipment and materials passed in front of the protesters staging a sit-in protest at the planned construction site. The Abe government plans to dispatch 500 riot police officers to Okinawa next week in order to block protesters so that the construction work will begin by the end of this month.

In the meeting with Sugita, Onaga also mentioned the Japanese and U.S. governments’ plan to construct a new U.S. base in the Henoko coastal area. The Okinawa government is negotiating with the central government for the cancellation of this plan. The governor pointed out that all anti-Henoko base candidates won in elections held in recent years at both national and local levels. Stating, “Okinawans are firmly determined to block the Henoko base construction”, Onaga demanded that Tokyo give up the construction plan.

Past related articles:
> Tokyo resumes US helipad construction work in Okinawa even after Abe Cabinet minister’s defeat [July 12, 2016]
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