Henoko landfill work temporarily halted for Diet elections
The Japanese government has decided to postpone all landfill work off Camp Schwab in Henoko until the Dec. 14 national election of the Lower House is over. Also, the buoys that had been in place to mark the off-limits area off shore were removed, although the off-limits area itself is still in place, and the Coast Guard continues to keep watch and expel those who try to enter the area.
At the same time, the construction work on shore within the base that is not so visible to public, will go on as planned.
The MCAS Futenma transfer and the construction of the new base are expected to dominate the Lower House election campaign in Okinawa following the gubernatorial election. Further public opposition can be expected if the Government goes ahead with the construction on the ocean off Henoko.
The decision to temporarily halt the construction off shore is generally seen as the government giving extra consideration to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party candidates who approve the relocation of MCAS Futenma to Henoko. It’s also expected that the central government would like to see how the new Onaga administration starts, before re-starting the construction again.