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Okinawa rally mourns governor, opposes US base move

TOKYO – Tens of thousands of protesters have gathered in Okinawa, vowing to stop a planned U. S military base relocation on the southern Japanese island.

They pay tribute to the Gov. Takeshi Onaga, who died last week after a leading Okinawa’s anti-U.S. military base movement since the elections in 2014. He had promised to prevent the central government from bulldozing a controversial relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps air station to a less populated part of Okinawa. He also criticized Tokyo for the neglect of Okinawa and was preparing for the withdrawal of a landfill has been issued by his predecessor.

Deputy-Gov. Kiichiro Jahana, representative of Onaga on the Saturday of the rally, says that he will follow through with a withdrawal process.

About half of the 50,000 American troops in Japan are stationed on Okinawa.

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