Judge tosses suit over US base relocation in Okinawa, Japan

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A U.S. judge has thrown out a lawsuit that challenged plans to relocate a U.S. military base in Okinawa, Japan, over concerns about an endangered marine mammal.

Judge Edward Chen in San Francisco ruled late Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Defense adequately considered the base's effects on the Okinawa dugong — a manatee-like animal associated with traditional creation myths in Japan.

The yearslong legal fight concerns plans to relocate Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to a less dense part of Okinawa.

Environmentalists say the construction of two aircraft runways as part of the construction plan will destroy critical feeding grounds and habitat for the dugong.

One of the plaintiffs, the Center for Biological Diversity, did not immediately have comment.