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    (FILES) A file picture taken on April 24, 2010 shows planes and helicopters stationed at the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma base in Ginowan, Okinawa prefecture

    US Airbase Opponents Win Majority in Japan’s Okinawa Parliament Polls

    © AFP 2019 / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA
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    Candidates opposing relocation of a US military airbase within Japan’s Okinawa prefecture won the majority of seats in the local parliament, local media reported Monday.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — At least 27 of the 48 assembly seats at stake are predicted to go to those unhappy about the US military presence in the island prefecture, according to the Japan Times newspaper.

    The outcome of Sunday’s vote will strengthen the mandate of Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga who has been trying to stop the construction of a new base in the Henoko coastal area of Nago city. In August 2014, Onaga succeeded in halting the construction.

    People hold banners as they listen to a speaker during a rally against a new US military base in Okinawa, Japan's nouthernmost prefecture (file)
    © AFP 2019 / Toru YAMANAKA
    People hold banners as they listen to a speaker during a rally against a new US military base in Okinawa, Japan's nouthernmost prefecture (file)

    The US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma is in a highly-populated district in the city of Ginowan. It houses 25,800 US servicemen along with 19,000 family members and civilians, according to the prefecture’s figures.

    Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga declared on Monday that the government was intent to continue the construction to preserve the joint military potential.

    Related:

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    Japanese Politician Proposes Solution to US Airbase Relocation Dispute
    Pro-US Airbase Relocation Mayor Poised for Victory in Okinawa Election
    Tokyo Goes All In to Save US Base in Okinawa Despite Local Resentment
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    vote, airbase, Okinawa, Japan, United States
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