Japan's Okinawa governor revokes permit for US base move

Tokyo, October 13, AZERTAC

The governor of Japan's southern Okinawa prefecture has revoked a permit allowing the controversial move of a US military base.

The permit, given by his predecessor, allowed a coastal area to be reclaimed for the Futenma airbase relocation, according to BBC.

But a central government spokesman said there is "no change" in plans to proceed.

Tokyo has been engaged in a long-running stand-off with local authorities on the issue.

The government wants to move the Futenma airbase, which is in a densely populated area, to a more remote area of Okinawa on reclaimed land.

Japan's public broadcaster NHK reported that the regional bureau of the defence ministry is expected to file a legal challenge against Gov Takeshi Onaga's decision.

Many Okinawans want the US base moved away permanently from the island.

They believe the relocation will damage the environment and associate US bases with accidents and crime.

In March, Gov Onaga had also issued a stop-work order on the relocation, which the central government overruled.

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