The Okinawa prefectural government has revoked a landfill permit for a new US Marine Corps base in a coastal area of Nago City. The move is aimed at blocking reclamation work by the central government.
The land is being reclaimed to relocate the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station in Ginowan City to the less-populated Henoko district.
The prefectural government notified the Defense Ministry's regional bureau of the revocation on Friday.
The prefecture said it decided to revoke the permit to respect the wishes of former Okinawa governor Takeshi Onaga, who died of cancer on August 8th.
Later on Friday, Okinawa's Vice Governor Kiichiro Jahana told reporters that measures by the central government to protect coral and an endangered species were problematic. He said that after the permit was issued, the prefecture discovered that the site will not be able to adequately support seawalls.
The prefectural government had planned to revoke the permit before August 17th, the scheduled starting date for putting soil and sand inside seawalls at the site.
But the move was delayed following Onaga's death and postponement of the landfill work.
The central government apparently wants to resume the reclamation soon after Okinawa's gubernatorial election on September 30th. It is expected to ask courts to nullify the prefecture's revocation of the permit.