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Demonstrators have gathered at a rally in Okinawa, Japan, to protest against a US military air base on the island.
Sunday's rally, near Kadena air base, the largest US military facility in the Asia-Pacific region, is expected to include Hirokazu Nakaima, Okinawa's governor, and more than 30 town mayors.
Thousands of Japanese demonstrators in Okinawa are set to hold a massive rally against a controversial US military base on their island.
At least 100,000 demonstrators, including Okinawa governor Hirokazu Nakaima and more than 30 town mayors will protest the continued presence of the US Marine Corps' Futenama Airbase, which under a 2006 pact with Washington was simply removed from the city of Ginowan to the quieter coastal area of Henoko rather than removed from Okinawa altogether.
AFP - Up to 100,000 demonstrators on the Japanese island of Okinawa are set to protest against a US airbase Sunday in a row that is dominating national politics and souring ties with Washington.
Demonstrators held yellow banners with messages protesting against the US military presence, such as: "No Base!" or "US bases leave Okinawa!"
The row centres on US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, which under a 2006 pact with Washington was to be moved from the crowded city of Ginowan to the quieter coastal Henoko area of Okinawa.
posted by はなゆー at 18:28
TOKYO (Reuters) - Nearly 100,000 people rallied on Japan's Okinawa on Sunday to demand a U.S. airbase be moved off the island, media said, deepening the prime minister's woes as he struggles to resolve a feud by an end of May deadline.
posted by はなゆー at 19:37
"We can never accept the US base. If it happens, the whole of our fishery will be damaged," Hiroyuki Akamine, president of the fishermen's cooperative in one of the reported alternative locations, told AFP ahead of the rally.
posted by はなゆー at 20:25
"No to a new base! No to a relocation within the island!" Nago Mayor Susumu Inamine said, criticizing Hatoyama's government for "playing with the Okinawan's feelings."
posted by はなゆー at 20:42
Several dozens of Japanese demonstrators have marched through the streets of Tokyo to protest the presence of the US military in their country.
The protesters demanded the removal of a controversial US airbase on the southern island of Okinawa.
The rally took place ahead of a major demonstration on the island scheduled to be held on Sunday.
The Sunday demonstration is expected to attract up to 100,000 protesters near Kadena Air Base, which is the largest US military facility in the Asia Pacific region.
Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama on Saturday reiterated his previous stance toward US plans to build a new airbase in Okinawa's coastal area of Henoko, expressing strong objection.
The Japanese official's opposition to the 2006 plan comes after US daily The Washington Post reported earlier that Tokyo would accept the proposal.
Some 47,000 US troops are based in Japan, with more than half of the soldiers stationed in Okinawa.
In line with its relatively less friendly policies toward Washington in comparison to its predecessors, Hatoyama's government has warned that the US base could be moved off the island or even out of the country.
posted by はなゆー at 20:55
The BBC's Roland Buerk in Tokyo says Mr Hatoyama staked his job on resolving the issue by the end of May.
He is now under pressure because of his apparent dithering over the base, our correspondent adds.
posted by はなゆー at 04:28
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