NAHA, OKINAWA PREF. – The central government has sued the Okinawa Prefectural Government to nullify its decision to disclose documents including an accord on joint use of a road in Okinawa without the consent of the Japanese and U.S. governments, the Defense Ministry said Thursday.
The central government filed the suit Wednesday with the Naha District Court, demanding an injunction against the disclosure of the documents the local government has decided to release from Friday on the basis of its information-disclosure ordinance.
On Thursday, presiding Judge Naoya Inoue of the Naha court accepted the state request and decided to suspend the disclosure of the documents until its ruling is finalized, according to the Justice Ministry.
The Japanese and U.S. governments had agreed not to disclose the documents without the consent of both sides. The prefectural road in question leads to the U.S. forces’ training ground in the north of Okinawa’s main island.
The two countries decided in 1990 on their joint use of the road, which extends through an area provided for the U.S. forces, on the basis of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement.
After a man in Okinawa demanded in January that the local government disclose the documents, the Okinawa Defense Bureau, an office of the Defense Ministry, asked the local government in February not to release them when inquired about the disclosure.
However, the Okinawa government decided to disclose the documents on the basis of the ordinance. The ministry issued a statement Thursday expressing regret over the decision.
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