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Prefecture refuses joint construction of Henoko base

Date Posted: 2003-12-11

The Okinawa Prefectural Government has decided not to take part in the construction of the new airport in Henoko. The new airport is to replace the present MCAS Futenma facility. The central government initially had requested that Okinawa Prefecture and the government take on construction of the facility jointly, but Okinawa Governor Keiichi Inamine made an official request Wednesday that the central government undertake the entire project.

The Defense Facilities Administration Agency had earlier requested the prefecture to build the civilian part of the project, as the agency would have no legal basis to construct a civilian facility. State Minister for Okinawa and Northern Territory issues Toshimitsu Motegi, responding after the governor submitted his official request, indicated the government would accept the it. He also said that he plans to hold a construction consultation meeting by the end of the year. Both sides also expect the environmental assessment on the project to resume shortly. The assessment has been suspended because of the disagreement between the central and Okinawa governments.

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