Okinawa governor rejects US base relocation plan

The governor of Okinawa Prefecture has told Japan's government that he disapproves of a revised plan for moving a US military airbase to reclaimed land in the prefecture.

Officials of the prefecture visited the Okinawa Defense Bureau on Thursday to convey the disapproval of moving the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station in Ginowan City to the less-populated Henoko District in Nago City.

Okinawa has formally rejected the plan more than 19 months after the central government presented it with new measures to solidify the soft foundation at the site for land reclamation added to the original plan.

The prefectural government concluded on Wednesday that the revised plan is not based on a detailed survey of the foundation. It also cited a lack of proper environmental measures for mitigating potential harm to marine life at the site.

Governor Tamaki Denny told a news conference on Thursday that the plan will not lead to elimination of the dangers that the base poses to local residents.

Tamaki said Okinawans and many other Japanese feel indignant over the government's push to forcibly continue reclamation work without adequate explanation.

He said Okinawa will patiently continue to ask the government to seek a solution through dialogue as the basis for democracy.

The governor added that Okinawa will keep asking the Japanese and US governments to eliminate the dangers of the base as soon as possible.

On Thursday, Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo was asked by reporters whether he would consider legal action against Okinawa's rejection of his ministry's plan.

Kishi said his ministry will carefully examine the reasons and grounds for Okinawa's decision before deciding how to respond.