Defense Ministry preparing for court battle on Henoko plan

As the standoff regarding building the replacement facility for MCAS Futenma in Henoko drags on, officials at the Japanese Defense Ministry are considering the option of taking the Okinawa Prefecture and Governor Takashi Onaga to the courts.

A court battle is seen as a likely option in case Governor Onaga rescinds the approval for reclamation work based on the findings of a third-party committee that Onaga set up. The committee is set to report as early as July whether there were any problems with the approval given by former Governor Hirokazu Nakaima.

Officials at the ministry are preparing for a possibility that Onaga would cancel the approval, and have set up a team led by Vice Defense Minister Masanori Nishi to consider countermeasures in case.

“We are preparing for any situation that could rise in order to ensure we can proceed with the planned relocation, “ an official at the ministry said. “At the same time, the best solution would be that we could come up with ideas for a peaceful settlement,” the official added.

10:44 22 Oct , 2016