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Thousands in Japan rally against U.S. base on Okinawa

Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga speaks during a news conference in Naha on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa Monday, March 23, 2015. Onaga has ordered a Defense Ministry branch to suspend all work at the site where a key U.S. military air base is to be relocated. Mr. Onaga told the news conference that a concrete anchor thrown into the sea for a drilling survey of the reef at the designated site known as Henoko is believed have damaged coral.

Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga speaks during a news conference in Naha on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa Monday, March 23, 2015. Onaga has ordered a Defense Ministry branch to suspend all work at the site where a key U.S. military air base is to be relocated. Mr. Onaga told the news conference that a concrete anchor thrown into the sea for a drilling survey of the reef at the designated site known as Henoko is believed have damaged coral.  

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Okinawa was the site of Japan's only land battles in World War Two and many residents there resent the fact that it hosts tens of thousands of U.S. troops and military.

Thousands of people surrounded Japan's Parliament on Sunday to protest against government plans to relocate a U.S. military base on Okinawa island, local media reported.

Kyodo news agency said some 28,000 protesters had ringed parliament house in central Tokyo, holding hands and shouting: "Don't build the base". Hundreds more held similar protests across the country, it also reported.

Okinawa was the site of Japan's only land battles in World War Two and many residents there resent the fact that it hosts tens of thousands of U.S. troops and military.

The United States and Japan agreed in 1996 to relocate the base, currently in a heavily populated area, to a new site in Henoko, but many residents of the island have rejected the proposal and want the base moved altogether.

Many residents of Okinawa say they associate U.S. bases with noise, pollution and crime.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2019 5:13:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/thousands-in-japan-rally-against-us-base-on-okinawa/article8264323.ece

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