The governor of Okinawa, southern Japan, has ordered a local defense bureau to suspend offshore work needed to relocate a US military base.The Okinawa Defense Bureau has been engaged in work since February to reclaim an area in waters off Nago City's coastal district of Henoko. The reclamation is needed to build a replacement for the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station, which stands in a densely populated area of Ginowan City.Prefectural officials took issue with concrete blocks placed in the sea as part of the work. They said the blocks' size and locations were different from what the bureau planned when it got permission to destroy rocky reefs on the sea floor. The bureau said its plan had not changed.On Tuesday, Governor Takeshi Onaga instructed in writing that the bureau suspend the work until the end of March, when the permission expires. He said the local defense bureau is not following a requirement that it provide information without delay when asked about progress in the work.The instruction says the defense bureau must seek new permission to continue the work from April.The bureau is expected to reject the suspension order. Although a permit is needed to destroy rocky reefs for work done where fishers have the right to operate, the bureau says no permit is needed, as local fishers have renounced such rights.
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