Japan's Defense Ministry has started building another coastal embankment in the Henoko district of Okinawa Prefecture to reclaim land for the relocation of a US military base.
The work is part of a plan to move the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station in Ginowan City to the less populated Henoko area in Nago City.
The ministry has already constructed an embankment in the southern section of the planned relocation site. It began reclaiming land by dumping soil and rocks in the area last month.
On Monday, workers started building an embankment in the eastern section. The ministry has notified the Okinawa prefectural government.
The ministry's regional bureau in Okinawa wants to transplant about 40,000 coral reef colonies in the eastern section to a safer location. It applied last month for permission from Okinawa Prefecture.
But the prefectural government rejected the request, citing its decision last August to revoke a landfill permit.
It opposes the relocation of the base within the prefecture.
The ministry says that even if the construction work continues for some time, it will not affect the coral in the area.
The ministry revealed last week that the seabed in the eastern section is likely to have some soft areas.
In such a case, the ministry would have to apply to Okinawa Prefecture for permission for reinforcement work. But it is unlikely that the prefectural government would give its approval.