Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga died late on Aug. 8 at age 67 following hospitalization related to pancreatic cancer.
The death of the governor, who had been ill for many months and who underwent surgery in April to remove a cancerous tumor, comes just days after he ordered local officials to once again start the process of retracting the previous governor’s 2013 approval of a landfill project needed to relocate U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.
The air base was to be moved from a densely populated area in Ginowan, central Okinawa, to the Henoko coastal district in Nago, northern Okinawa.
Onaga had revoked the approval for the landfill project earlier, in October 2015, but the Supreme Court ruled against his position in December 2016, allowing the central government to resume construction last year.
His latest move was typical of his never-give-up style.
Onaga’s death is expected to deal a blow to the movement to oppose moving the air base.
(The Japan Times, Kyodo)