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    Japan Resumes Landfill Work at New US Military Site on Okinawa Despite Local Opposition

    Japan Resumes Landfill Work at New US Military Site on Okinawa Despite Local Opposition

    TOKYO — Japanese construction workers on Wednesday resumed landfill work at the site of the U.S. base on Okinawa despite protests by the island's residents that the move tramples on their rights and raises environmental concerns.

    The planned relocation site for the base, on Okinawa's eastern coast, has been at the center of a dispute between the government in Tokyo and the local authorities at a time of the island's growing strategic importance.

    Okinawa is becoming key for the Japan-U.S. military alliance in the face of growing tensions with while Japan also rapidly seeks to build up its military in the southwestern region.

    Three weeks ago, the Fukuoka High Court's Naha branch ordered Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki to approve the central government's modified landfill plan, and allowed the Land and Transport Ministry to order the work to resume by overriding the governor's disapproval.

    On a barge brought to the location on Wednesday, a pair of loader machines scooped up mounds of rock and gravel and dumped them into the sea as part of reclamation needed to reinforce the extremely soft seabed at the site planned for U.S. Marine Corps Station Futenma.

    Tamaki, who has appealed the order to the Supreme Court, said the court ruling was unjust and goes against the will of the residents. Under Japanese law, construction can proceed while the court decision is pending. He called the resumption of the…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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