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Supreme Court ruling on Henoko project defies common sense

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31.03.2020

The Supreme Court ruling on the dispute between the state and the Okinawa prefectural government over the Henoko base project is terribly divorced from the common sense of society.

The top court handed down the ruling after being engaged in arguments over fine, highly technical legal issues without paying serious attention to the true nature of the problem.

The Supreme Court on March 26 ruled in favor of the central government in the case, dismissing the local government’s lawsuit seeking a halt to the reclamation work to build a U.S. military base off Henoko, a district in the city of Nago in the prefecture.

The fresh legal battle over the long-running dispute started in August 2018 when the prefectural government revoked the permit granted by a former governor to reclaim land off Henoko to build a U.S. military facility to take over the functions of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan, also in the prefecture.

The Okinawa government cited new related developments and findings, including the discovery that the seafloor in some parts of the reclamation area is extremely soft.

The Defense Ministry responded to the move by filing a formal request to the minister of land, infrastructure, transport and........

© The Asahi Shimbun