Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday that the Japanese government will stick to its plan to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station at Futenma to the less populated Henoko area in Okinawa.
Abe was speaking in an Upper House question and answer session on his policy speech last week.
Japanese Communist Party leader Kazuo Shii criticized Abe for ignoring the wishes of the Okinawan people and the local government in Okinawa, TV Asahi reported. Shii said it is unthinkable in a democracy for a government to disregard the feelings of local residents on such an important issue.
Abe said the plan to relocate the base to Henoko is the only realistic option and said the central government will move ahead with the plan while trying to win the understanding of the prefectural government and local residents.
In another development Tuesday, NHK reported that Okinawan Gov Takeshi Onaga said he will order an investigation into whether underwater drilling in the seabed for the base at Henoko have been conducted outside the designated area, resulting in the destruction of coral reefs.© Japan Today