TOKYO – Tens of thousands of protesters have gathered in Okinawa vowing to stop a planned U.S military base relocation on the southern Japanese island.
They paid tribute to Gov. Takeshi Onaga, who died last week after leading Okinawa’s anti-U.S. military base movement since elected in 2014. He had promised to prevent the central government from bulldozing a contentious relocation of U.S. Marine Corps air station to a less populated part of Okinawa. He also criticized Tokyo for neglecting Okinawa’s will and was preparing to revoke a landfill permit issued by his predecessor.
Deputy Gov. Kiichiro Jahana, representing Onaga at Saturday’s rally, says he will follow through a revocation process.
About half of the 50,000 American troops in Japan are stationed on Okinawa.