June 12, 2020 Ryukyu Shimpo online edition Henoko construction resumes despite a majority opposition in the newly elected Assembly

June 12, 2020 Ryukyu Shimpo online edition
On June 12 the Okinawa Defense Bureau (ODB) resumed construction work on the Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF) in Henoko, Nago City, which is intended to be the relocation site for Futenma Air Station (Ginowan City). At about 8:20 a.m. that day, two boats for unloading soil came to shore in Henoko.
Construction on the FRF was halted on April 17 this year when one laborer from a vendor working on construction was found to be infected with the novel coronavirus. There was an Okinawa Prefectural Assembly member election on June 7, just five days prior to the ODB resuming construction, and a majority of the candidates elected oppose the FRF. Additionally, the Okinawa Prefectural Government requested that FRF construction not be resumed.
Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki exercised restraint on June 11 when he stated that it would be extremely regrettable for construction to resume.
According to persons involved, on June 11 the ODB rescinded its two-squad system for defending against the spread of the novel coronavirus, and prepared to resume construction.
Construction may have returned to normal on June 12, but the mood is becoming ever tenser at the sites where citizens show up to protest against FRF construction.
(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)

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