Court proposes settlement of Henoko reclamation lawsuit
The Fukuoka High Court Naha Branch presented last week a provisional settlement plan for the dispute between the central government in Tokyo and Okinawa Prefecture who are in a court battle over building the relocation facility in Camp Schwab in Henoko.
The plan calls on the state to drop its lawsuit against the Okinawa Prefecture and resume talks with Okinawa on the contested issue. At the same time the prefecture should reinstate the permission for land reclamation in Henoko.
The plan also requires the Japanese Government to renegotiate its agreement with the United States to return the replacement facility site to Japan within 30 years. It would then be put for civilian use.
Presiding judge Toshiro Tamiya made the proposal following the third hearing of the lawsuit. Governor Onaga said Monday he would consider the court-proposed settlement while reiterating his resolve to prevent the construction in Henoko.
However, the central government indicated Tuesday that it’s not going to accept the court proposal as it calls for halting the reclamation work that is currently going on at Henoko. “Our position is that the government received permission for the reclamation work from the former Okinawa governor,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference on Tuesday.
“We will go ahead with the relocation plan while paying due consideration to residents’ lives and the natural environment,” Suga said. Defense Minister Gen Nakatani has also expressed a similar opinion.
The hearings for the lawsuit will be concluded on Feb. 29th. The government is expected to express its position on the settlement at the session.