Okinawa Government files complaint over restart of Henoko landfill work
As a first step towards a full-scale court battle, the Okinawa Prefectural Government filed a complaint with the Central and Local Government Dispute Management Council, a third-party panel that exists as an impartial office in the internal affairs ministry to handle disputes between the local and central governments. By filing the complaint, the Prefectural Government is seeking to restore Governor Onaga’s order to halt the construction work at Henoko.
The central government started the work at Henoko after the Minister of Land and Infrastructure, Keiichi Ishii, ruled that Onaga’s decision to revoke the landfill permit that his predecessor approved was without merit.
“The land minister’s decision represents central government’s illegal involvement in local affairs,” Onaga said in a news conference at his office. He added that he wants the panel to conduct an impartial and fair examination of the matter. Under the local autonomy law, the dispute management council has to make a judgment on the matter within 90 days.
If the third-panel decides against the governor and prefecture, the next step will be to file a lawsuit at the high court against the government. The central government is reportedly also ready to file a lawsuit of its own against the Okinawa Government.
The central government restarted the work last week Thursday off Henoko that angered a crowd of demonstrators who took sitting on the road in front of the base gate in order to block construction vehicles from entering Camp Schwab.