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    MV-22 Ospreys are seen at the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station and the surrounding area from an observation deck at a park in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture on southern Japan

    Japan Starts Hearing on Tokyo-Okinawa US Military Base Dispute

    © AP Photo / Eugene Hoshiko
    Asia & Pacific
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    Japanese Minister of Land Keiichi Ishii filed a lawsuit against Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga, after the latter refused to fulfill Tokyo's recommendations to accept the relocation of a US base.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — A court hearing on Tokyo's attempts to eliminate opposition by the authority for the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa for the relocation of a US military base was initiated in Japan on Wednesday, local media reported.

    In November, Japanese Minister of Land Keiichi Ishii filed a lawsuit against Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga, after the latter refused to fulfill Tokyo's recommendations to accept the relocation of a US base, from Okinawa's highly-populated district in the city of Ginowan to the Henoko coastal area of Nago city. Later that month, Okinawa announced it would launch a retaliatory lawsuit against the Tokyo administration in December.

    "Is it normal that Okinawa bears the burden [of US military bases] alone? I want to ask people," Onaga said, as quoted by Kyodo news agency.

    According to the Okinawa governor, the prefecture's economy does not rely on the presence of US bases.

    The Japanese government resumed construction on the new US military base in Okinawa, having negated a late October regional government veto on its relocation.

    Okinawa includes less than 1 percent of Japanese territory but hosts some 74 percent of the country's total US military presence.

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    military base, Okinawa, Japan
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