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Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto said on Monday that his government will wait until local authorities in Okinawa Prefecture make a final decision on whether to accept a controversial heliport project before responding to its rejection by plebiscite Sunday in Nago.

Hashimoto said the number of votes against the project was much more than he expected. In the plebiscite Sunday, 16,639 residents voted against the plan,in which a 1,500-meter-long offshore heliport would be built off the U.S. Marine Corps’ Camp Schwab in Nago. Some 14,267 residents voted yes to it.

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