Onaga has been trying to close Futenma and move Marine air operations off Okinawa, though both Washington and Tokyo have said keeping air operations on the island is the best option. “I will never allow construction of a new military base at Henoko,” he said recently. “If the central government resumes construction, I will block it by employing every possible means.”
Administration officials also said Onaga could delay the project with surveys for buried cultural property and testing on soil coming in from outside the prefecture for landfill.
“Even if the court judges that the landfill permit was given lawfully, it goes without saying that a strict review is necessary to see if it meets requirements of the law involved, for instance a permit for breaking coral reefs,” Onaga said, according to the spokesman. “Naturally, permission cannot be given when the request for a permit to break coral reefs fails to meet the requirements of law.”
The aircraft experienced problems after a nighttime refueling at sea with a C-130 severed a heavy hose and damaged the Osprey’s propeller.