pacific forum History of Pacific Forum

PacNet #88 – New Thinking on Futenma Replacement

Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma is surrounded by densely populated residential areas in the midst of Okinawa Island. In December 1996, the governments of Japan and the United States agreed, as a part of the realignment of US bases in Okinawa, to return it “within the next five to seven years, after adequate replacement facilitates are completed and operational.” Although Tokyo and Washington later decided to build the Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF) at the Camp Schwab Henoko-saki area and adjacent waters, the construction has long stagnated because successive Japanese administrations have failed to persuade Okinawa Prefecture to approve the landfill. Hopes of the two governments now hinge on the approval in the next few months of the landfill plan by the Okinawa government.