Landfill work to relocate a U.S. military facility in Okinawa resumed Thursday amid protests after the land ministry overruled the prefecture's attempt to stop the controversial project from going ahead.

The central government is replacing U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, which is in a crowded residential district in Ginowan, with a partially offshore airstrip in the less-populated Henoko coastal area of Nago.

Wrangling between Tokyo and local authorities over the issue has been intensifying since Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga on Oct. 13 revoked an approval for the Henoko landfill work granted by his predecessor in 2013.