Tokyo, July 22: Conflicts reignited between the Japanese government and Okiwa prefecture, as the former sought to push ahead a widely-opposed US air base relocation plan by filing a fresh lawsuit on Friday, while resuming construction of helipads for US military despite strong local opposition. The lawsuit was filed against Okiwa Governor Takeshi Oga, seeking the court’s confirmation that Oga acted illegally in not complying with a state order to retract his revocation of former governor’s permission for the landfill work of the Futenma air base relocation, Xinhua news agency reported.
The lawsuit will reopen a legal battle between the governments, which was first ignited last year when they sued each other over the issue, and was halted in March when a settlement deal was reached under the court mediation. The construction work was halted as they awaited a ruling by an arbitration panel under the interl affairs ministry.
However, the panel failed to reach a conclusion in June and urged the two sides to hold more “sincere discussions”.
During a negotiation meeting on Thursday, Okiwa indicated that it would not file a fresh lawsuit, while the central government said it would take the issue to court again, in an apparent effort to push forward the relocation work.
The government is fulfilling its obligations under the terms of the March settlement by proceeding with the lawsuit, a spokesman confirmed. (IANS)