Okinawa orders halt to US military base work


TOKYO: The governor of Okinawa on Monday ordered a halt to construction of a controversial US military airbase, the latest twist in a saga that has riven southern Japan for decades. Setting up a new clash between the central government in Tokyo and the independently minded semi-tropical island chain, Takeshi Onaga told a news conference he could revoke a drilling permit if the defense ministry does not comply with his order. Onaga, who opposed the airbase, was elected in November. His predecessor had agreed to the drilling needed in the sparsely populated coastal region to relocate Futenma airbase, which now sits in a crowded urban area.



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