Unresolved problems abound for Henoko project
The Okinawa Defense Bureau has decided to extend by about three months its survey of the seabed off the coast of Henoko, citing the pause in the work during the gubernatorial and House of Representatives election campaigns. The work was also delayed by inclement weather last fall.
According to the central government plan, the construction and landfill at the MCAS Futenma replacement site should start from July, but now officials at the Defense Bureau admit that it could be delayed. The say not only drilling survey but setting up the necessary temporary landing pier and other construction related facilities could be delayed, too.
There are still open issues between the Defense Ministry and Okinawa Prefecture before the construction can start, including changing the channel of Bisha River, transporting sand and soil, and heavy construction equipment to and from the construction site. All that is expected to be very difficult to clear. If Okinawa Prefecture decides to revoke the permission to break the reef at the construction site, the Defense Bureau can’t legally start the construction or even complete the ongoing survey.
If the central government decides to go ahead with the construction work, Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga has threatened to take the government to the court.