Prefecture Assembly parties demand stop to Henoko survey

The Okinawa Prefecture Assembly adopted a written statement, Wednesday, demanding an immediate end to the drilling survey that has been going on off Henoko in Nago. The survey is conducted to prepare for the landfill needed for the MCAS Futenma runway relocation..

The Japanese Defense Ministry’s Okinawa Defense Bureau is conducting the drilling survey.

The statement said Okinawa residents have fought hard to remove all bases from the prefecture without bowing down during the hard times of the post-World War II occupation by the U.S. military.

In addition to an end to the drilling survey, the statement called for a correction to what it calls excessive security against protests over the base relocation, and the removal of buoys marking the survey areas.

Four opposition groups in the assembly submitted the written statement, including the Social Democratic Party and the Japanese Communist Party, and the New Komeito, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s coalition ally.

According to local commentators, the New Komeito’s clear opposition to the Futenma relocation makes it difficult for the party to cooperate with the LDP in the Nov. 16 Okinawa gubernatorial election. The LDP has stated its support of the reelection bid of Governor Hirokazu Nakaima, who has accepted the relocation plan.