MILITARY

Japan court rejects Okinawa move to block US base relocation

  • This aerial June 2016 photo shows Henoko of Nago city, Okinawa prefecture, Japan, where the Japanese government plans to relocate a U.S. air base from one area of Okinawa’s main island to another. A Japanese high court ruled Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, that Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga’s revocation of a reclamation permit for a U.S. military base on the southern island was illegal, supporting the central government plan to go ahead with the reclamation despite protests by local residents. (Hiroko Harima/Kyodo News via AP)

    This aerial June 2016 photo shows Henoko of Nago city, Okinawa prefecture, Japan, where the Japanese government plans to relocate a U.S. air base from one area of Okinawa’s main island to another. A Japanese high court ruled Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, that Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga’s revocation of a reclamation permit for a U.S. military base on the southern island was illegal, supporting the central government plan to go ahead with the reclamation despite protests by local residents. (Hiroko Harima/Kyodo News via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • People wait outside Fukuoka High Court for its ruling on a relocation plan of a U.S. air base, in Naha, Okinawa prefecture, Japan, Friday, Sept. 16, 2106. The Japanese high court ruled Friday that Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga’s revocation of a reclamation permit for a U.S. military base on the southern island was illegal, supporting the central government plan to go ahead with the reclamation despite protests by local residents. The decision is the latest development in a legal battle between Okinawa and Tokyo over the relocation plan that has stalled for 20 years. (Ryosuke Uematsu/Kyodo News via AP)

    People wait outside Fukuoka High Court for its ruling on a relocation plan of a U.S. air base, in Naha, Okinawa prefecture, Japan, Friday, Sept. 16, 2106. The Japanese high court ruled Friday that Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga’s revocation of a reclamation permit for a U.S. military base on the southern island was illegal, supporting the central government plan to go ahead with the reclamation despite protests by local residents. The decision is the latest development in a legal battle between Okinawa and Tokyo over the relocation plan that has stalled for 20 years. (Ryosuke Uematsu/Kyodo News via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga attends a news conference in Naha, Okinawa, Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, after a  Japanese court ruled that Onaga’s revocation of a reclamation permit for a U.S. military base on the southern island was illegal, supporting the central government plan to go ahead with the reclamation despite protests by local residents. The decision is the latest development in a legal battle between Okinawa and Tokyo over the relocation plan that has stalled for 20 years. Onaga said he was “dumbfounded” by the ruling. “It’s totally unacceptable.” Okinawa said it will appeal the Fukuoka High Court ruling to the Supreme Court. (Ryosuke Uematsu/Kyodo News via AP)

    Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga attends a news conference in Naha, Okinawa, Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, after a Japanese court ruled that Onaga’s revocation of a reclamation permit for a U.S. military base on the southern island was illegal, supporting the central government plan to go ahead with the reclamation despite protests by local residents. The decision is the latest development in a legal battle between Okinawa and Tokyo over the relocation plan that has stalled for 20 years. Onaga said he was “dumbfounded” by the ruling. “It’s totally unacceptable.” Okinawa said it will appeal the Fukuoka High Court ruling to the Supreme Court. (Ryosuke Uematsu/Kyodo News via AP)  (The Associated Press)

A Japanese court has ruled that Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga's revocation of a reclamation permit for a U.S. military base on the southern island was illegal, supporting the central government plan to go ahead with the reclamation despite protests by local residents.

Friday's decision is the latest development in a legal battle between Okinawa and Tokyo over the relocation plan that has stalled for 20 years. Okinawa said it will appeal the Fukuoka High Court ruling to the Supreme Court.

Onaga revoked approval for the permit last October. The reclamation is needed so the U.S. can relocate Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to a less populated area on the island.

Many residents complain about the large American troop presence on Okinawa and want the Futenma base closed instead of moved.