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Work On Relocating The US Base In Okinawa Has Been Suspended Due To The Pandemic

Work On Relocating The US Base In Okinawa Has Been Suspended Due To The Pandemic

It is noted that one of the employees of the Department responsible for bulk operations in the transfer zone of the military facility was infected with the coronavirus.

Work on the relocation of the US marine corps airbase Futemma from one area of the southern Japanese prefecture of Okinawa to another has been suspended indefinitely due to a coronavirus. This was reported on Friday by NHK.

It is noted that one of the employees of the Department responsible for bulk operations in the transfer zone of the military facility was infected with the coronavirus. His colleagues are recommended to self-isolate, and the building where the office is located will be disinfected.

Later, Japanese defense Minister Taro Kono said that the situation with the pandemic should not affect the original relocation plan. According to him, no changes are expected in the work plan, including in its design part.

Kyodo Agency noted that work should resume this weekend after all necessary checks are carried out.

On the island of Okinawa, 75% of the area of American military facilities in Japan is concentrated, which causes dissatisfaction with the local population. Its symbol was the United States marine corps air station Futemma, which is located in the densely populated Ginowan district and becomes a source of constant incidents. Back in 1996, Tokyo and Washington agreed to remove this object from there. In 1999, it was decided to relocate it to the North of Okinawa in the Henoko area, partially placing it on the bulk Islands.

In 2013, after long negotiations, the Okinawan authorities agreed to start these works. However, in 2015, the then Governor of Takeshi Onaga Prefecture reversed this decision. He demanded that the American base be removed from Okinawa.

The Governor has consistently lost a series of lawsuits on this issue, but persistently forbade the beginning of work on the relocation of the base. Amid this fight, Onaga died, and the opposition leader elected to replace him, Danny Tamaki, also said that he would seek the withdrawal of the American facility from Okinawa. However, several legal proceedings ended in favor of the Central government and work to move the base from Ginowan to the Henoko district was resumed.

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