Okimawa takes steps on base report

Kyodo

Okinawa officials began checking Wednesday if a key environmental impact assessment on moving U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma that it received last week from the Defense Ministry contains all the necessary documents, paving the way for the report to be officially accepted.

Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima told reporters in the morning that the prefecture intends to formally accept the report’s submission, since he would not otherwise be able to demand revisions to the plan.

Nakaima wants the base moved outside of Okinawa altogether, as do most of his constituents, and once the report’s submission is formally accepted he will have until late March to present his official comments to the central government.

As the number of copies of the report submitted to the prefecture in the early hours of Dec. 28 fell short of that required by a local ordinance, Okinawa is expected to first accept only the part of the assessment related to the planned land reclamation, while the part on the construction of the replacement airfield will have to wait until the remaining eight copies are delivered.