Central Government Wins Case Finalizing ‘Execution by Proxy’ U.S. Base Relocation in Okinawa

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The construction site in Henoko, Okinawa Prefecture, in October 2023.

The Supreme Court finalized a decision on Thursday to allow the land minister to make necessary approvals for the U.S. military base relocation in Okinawa in place of the prefecture’s governor, who had opposed the relocation. The legal procedure, called execution by proxy, has been finalized by the Supreme Court for the first time.

Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Tetsuo Saito has approved design changes required for the relocation of the U.S. military’s Futenma Air Station in Ginowan to the coast of Henoko, Nago, which was rejected by Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki.

Tamaki had refused the order to approve the design change, thus triggering the execution by proxy order. The order was implemented before the decision was finalized, and the construction work has already resumed.