Nakaima poised to make decision on landfill plan change

Outgoing Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima is planning to make the decision on a requested change in the construction plan of the landfill work for the new runways off Henoko before his term in the office expires on Dec. 9. Nakaima confirmed his intention in an answer to a written question by the Ryukyu Shinpo newspaper, stating, “I have a responsibility as a governor to make the decision on this request.”

The Okinawa Defense Bureau wants to get a positive answer from the Prefectural Government to its request for big changes in the construction plan, and is urging the government make its decision promptly.

Executives of the government have an unfavorable view of Nakaima making the decision during the remaining few days of his term, and say the decision should instead be left to the incoming Onaga administration.  It’s also uncertain whether Nakaima would approve the changed plan because members of the ruling LDP are asking for making a careful judgment before the Lower House election on Nov. 14, and they see an uphill battle for their candidates in the upcoming election just after LDP=backed Nakaima lost the gubernatorial election to Takeshi Onaga, who has promised to stop and cancel the Futenma relocation to Henoko.