Re-election of Okinawa Governor Tamaki prolongs base relocation dispute

September 2022

Gubernatorial Election: Tamaki Denny re-elected Governor of Okinawa Prefecture.

August 2022

Okinawa Prefecture files a lawsuit against the national government for reversing its disapproval of the base’s design changes.

April 2022

The Ministry of Lands, Infrastructure, Transportation, and Tourism rescinds Okinawa Prefecture’s disapproval of base design changes.

February 2022

Incumbent President Toguchi Taketoyo, backed by pro-relocation forces, wins the mayoral election in Nago.

November 2021

Okinawa Prefecture rejects design changes proposed by the Department of Defense for the base.

April 2020

The Ministry of Defense submits a request to the prefectural government for design changes to counter the soft ground of the planned construction site.

February 2019

More than 70% of voters oppose moving the base in a prefectural referendum.

September 2018

Election for Governor: Onaga Takeshi’s designated successor in the anti-base movement, Tamaki Denny, is elected Governor.

August 2018

Governor Onaga dies of pancreatic cancer.

July 2018

Governor Onaga announces that he will withdraw the landfill authorization granted by his predecessor.

December 2017

A window frame weighing approximately 7.7 kilograms falls from a US military transport helicopter assigned to Futenma and lands on the grounds of an elementary school in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture.

October 2017

A US military transport helicopter assigned to Futenma crashes and bursts into flames on private land in the village of Higashi.

December 2016

An Osprey aircraft assigned to Futenma crashes off Nago.

November 2014

Governor’s Election: Onaga Takeshi defeats Nakaima Hirokazu on a platform of opposing the relocation plan and becomes the new governor.

December 2013

Governor Nakaima approves burial works for the Henoko base.

October 2012

The United States begins the deployment of Osprey military aircraft to Futenma.

November 2010

Governor’s Election: Nakaima is re-elected Governor, after changing his position opposing the relocation plan.

May 2010

Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio abandons the idea of ​​relocation outside the prefecture as Japan and the United States reaffirm their commitment to the Henoko plan.

July 2009

DPJ chief Hatoyama Yukio says a replacement facility should “at least be outside the prefecture”. In September, Hatoyama is elected Prime Minister.

November 2006

Election for Governor: Nakaima Hirokazu, who approves of the relocation, is elected Governor.

August 2004

A military helicopter crashes into a building at Okinawa International University in Ginowan, near the Futenma base.

November 2003

US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld reportedly described Futenma as “the most dangerous base in the world”, after observing it from the air. The base is close to the center of Ginowan and surrounded by buildings.

November 2002

Governor’s Election: Inamine Keiichi is re-elected Governor.

December 1999

The cabinet officially approves the relocation plan.

November 1999

Governor Inamine declares Henoko, Nago as the relocation site for the facility, which will be for joint military and civilian use.

November 1998

Governorship election: Inamine Keiichi, who favors the plan, defeats Ōta to become Okinawa’s new governor.

February 1998

Okinawa Governor Ōta Masahide announces his opposition to the relocation plan.

December 1997

In a municipal referendum, a majority of Nago voters voice their opposition to the transfer of the Futenma facility to Nago.

November 1997

The government is proposing a plan to build a heliport off Henoko in the town of Nago to replace the Futenma base.

September 1996

In a prefectural referendum, 89% of voters, more than half of the total electorate, agree that the US military presence in Okinawa should be reduced.

April 1996

Prime Minister Hashimoto Ryūtarō and US Ambassador Walter Mondale announce that Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in the city of Ginowan will return to full Japanese territory.

September 1995

A 12-year-old schoolgirl from Okinawa is raped by three American soldiers. In October, tens of thousands of Okinawans take part in a protest rally.

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