Guam - Japan's new defense minister, Naoki Tanaka, hopes the relocation of the Futenma air base from Ginowan to the Henoko District near Nago in Okinawa can begin by the end of this year. Just late last month the long-anticipated environmental impact statement was completed.
Tanaka hopes the move will begin with the consent of the local community there.
According to the Japan Times, this is the first time mention of a time frame for start of construction has been made by a senior Japanese government official. The article added that Tanaka hinted that failure to begin the relocation of Futenma within the year could force Japan and the United States to review their bilateral agreement on the relocation project.