Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga died Wednesday evening at age 67 following hospitalization related to pancreatic cancer.
The death of the governor, who had been ill for many months and who underwent surgery in April to remove a cancerous tumor, comes just days after he ordered local officials to start the process of retracting the previous governor's 2013 approval of a landfill project needed to relocate U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to the Henoko coastal district in Nago, in northern Okinawa, from a densely populated area in Ginowan, central Okinawa.
In October 2015, Onaga revoked his predecessor Hirokazu Nakaima's 2013 approval of Tokyo's request for related landfill work in Nago, saying it was legally flawed. But the Supreme Court ruled against Onaga's position in December 2016, allowing the central government to resume construction last year.