GINOWAN, OKINAWA PREF. – Over 2,000 people marched around the Futenma base in Ginowan Sunday to protest the government’s plan to move the U.S. Marine Corps air station inside Okinawa Prefecture.
Braving heavy rain, participants chanted “We oppose a new base in Henoko” and “Remove the Osprey (aircraft).”
Many also attended a rally in Ginowan marking the 42nd anniversary last Thursday of Okinawa’s reversion to Japanese administration after 27 years of U.S. control.
The demonstrators said they oppose the plans of the Japanese and U.S. governments to strengthen U.S. military bases in Okinawa, and demanded a drastic revision of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement.
Tokyo and Washington have agreed to relocate the Futenma base from the crowded city of Ginowan to the Henoko coastal area of Nago, as part of the realignment of American forces in Japan.
Haruna Nema, 10, from the city of Urasoe, attended the march with six teammates from her elementary school basketball club. From her school, the students can watch U.S. MV-22 Ospreys flying around.