A high court on Wednesday ordered the governor of Okinawa Prefecture to approve a modified plan for landfill work to relocate a key U.S. base within the prefecture, endorsing the central government's attempt to push forward the delayed plan mired in controversy and court battles.

The Fukuoka High Court's Naha branch said Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki needs to approve it within three weekdays after receiving a copy of the ruling. Failing to do so would allow the land minister to circumvent the reluctant governor and approve the modifications by proxy.

The modifications involve reinforcing soft ground in the coastal Henoko area of Nago, the relocation site for U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, now located in densely-populated Ginowan.