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EDITORIAL: State has only itself to blame for U.S. base project mess

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We urge the government to ruminate on the continued turmoil surrounding a fiercely disputed and deeply troubled project to build a U.S. military facility off the Henoko district of Nago, a city in Okinawa Prefecture. The blame for this dire situation lies squarely with its own insincere and strong-arm approach to the massive undertaking.

Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki refused to give his approval to the central government’s application for a design change in the reclamation work concerning the replacement facility for the functions of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan, also in the prefecture.

The design change was proposed to strengthen the weak seabed in the planned reclamation area. A large swath of seabed has been described as “soft as mayonnaise.” After scrutinizing the proposed change for the past 18 months, Tamaki concluded that seabed surveys and steps to protect the local environment were woefully lacking.

The central government’s approach to the project has been nonsensical.

The weak seabed was discovered in the northern portion of the planned reclamation area during a drilling survey completed by 2016. But the government only owned up to........

© The Asahi Shimbun

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