Gov. Onaga tells US Ambassador Kennedy directly that the people of Okinawa reject the construction of US Marine airbase at Henoko.— SNA Japan (@ShingetsuNews) 19 июня 2015
In 2006, Japanese authorities gave the green light to US plans to relocate one of the largest American bases in the prefecture to a remote area of the island.
The governor, elected last year on the anti-base platform, and the majority of Okinawans are strongly against the move and continue to fight for a future without US troops on the island.
Over 70 percent of US military bases in Japan and approximately half of the 47,000 US troops deployed to the country are located in Okinawa.
The US forces in the prefecture have been mired in scandals, ranging from deadly accidents to crimes. The gang-rape of a 12-year-old Japanese girl by three US servicemen in 1995 is a particular case in point.
"Okinawa: 7 US Marines arrested in 8 days" — No wonder most Okinawans don't want new Marine base built on island. https://t.co/ZpgGQ98gPO— Jon Mitchell (@jonmitchell_jp) 7 июня 2015
"The will of Okinawans is to prevent the construction of the base in Henoko," Onaga told Kennedy.
The governor tried to convince US officials to abandon the controversial relocation plans during his May 27 – June 5 visit to the US. Tokyo and Washington insist that relocating Futenma is the only solution.