Okinawa Gov Takeshi Onaga on Monday rescinded an action aimed at blocking the relocation of a U.S. air base within the island prefecture, a step crucial to enabling the central government to resume construction work, sources close to the matter said.
The governor's decision follows his recent defeat in a lawsuit filed by the central government over the plan to move the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station in a crowded residential area in Ginowan to the less populated Henoko coastal area of Nago.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday found illegal Onaga's earlier revocation of the approval his predecessor had given for land reclamation required to build replacement runways in the coastal area.
His predecessor's approval will take effect only after documents reach the Defense Ministry's Okinawa bureau, the sources said.
In Tokyo, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a press conference that the central government is "making necessary preparations" to resume the reclamation-related work. The work, which has been suspended since earlier this year, may resume Tuesday or Wednesday, the sources said.
Suga said he will meet Onaga in Tokyo on Tuesday for talks on a draft national budget for fiscal 2017 that was approved by the Cabinet last week, which includes funds to support Okinawa's development.
The Environment Ministry said Friday that it has punished a 71-year-old part-time worker at Shinjuku Gyoen National Park in central Tokyo for neglecting to collect entry fees from some non-Japanese speakers. (Jiji)
The position of the Japan-U.S. alliance as the linchpin of Japanese foreign policy and security is an "unchanging principle," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a policy speech Friday hours before the inauguration of the next U.S. president. (Kyodo)
The organizing committee of the 2017 Asian Winter Games to be held in Hokkaido, northern Japan, next month has asked a Japanese hotel chain to take appropriate measures amid criticism for its owner's denial of the 1937 Nanjing incident. (Jiji)