09:40 GMT01 December 2020
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    The Japanese government's decision to postpone the planned relocation of a controversial US military base in Okinawa Prefecture through September 9 came into force on Monday, local media reported.

    Spratly group of islands in the South China Sea, west of Palawan
    © AFP 2020 / POOL / RITCHIE B. TONGO
    MOSCOW (Sputnik) On August 4, the one-month postponement of the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma relocation was announced by Japan's chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga.

    The government's decision is aimed at easing tensions with local authorities. The central government is scheduled to hold five rounds of talks with Okinawan officials, ending September 9, according to local media reports.

    Construction plans for the MCAS relocation from the highly-populated district in the city of Ginowan to Henoko, on the coastal city of Nago, triggered confrontations over environmental concerns and opposition to the US military presence in Japan.

    In April, Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani and his US counterpart Ashton Carter reaffirmed the relocation plan, a part of a 2006 intergovernmental agreement on a 2014 deadline for the US base relocation.

    Over half of 47,000 US troops deployed in Japan are based in Okinawa. The prefecture was controlled by the US authorities in 1945-1972. US military bases deployed in Okinawa occupy about 10 percent of the prefecture's territory and 18 percent of Okinawa Island.



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