16:18 GMT26 November 2020
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    Governor of Japan's Okinawa Takeshi Onaga will pay an official visit to the United States at the end of January to explain to the administration of US President-elect Donald Trump the position of the prefecture's residents, who have been protesting against the presence of the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station there, Kyodo news agency reported.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — Onaga will visit the United States on January 31 and in his third visit to the country since he took office in 2014, according to the Kyodo news agency.

    On February 2, the governor is expected to deliver a lecture at the George Washington University on history and current situation with the US bases in Okinawa, the agency said.

    On December 26, the agency reported that Onaga had retracted the decision preventing the United States from moving its air base within the island. The governor's decision came shortly after the national government won a lawsuit against the state, forcing the latter to allow the move of the Futenma Air Station to the Henoko Bay in Nago.

    The talks on the base's relocation have been ongoing for over two decades and have been significantly hindered lately by the steadfast opposition of the local residents, many of whom would like to see the base gone rather than relocated.

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


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