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NAGO, Okinawa Pref. — It’s a chilly, rainy evening in late January, but more than 1,000 people pack the center of town to hear a speech by Yoshikazu Shimabukuro, the head of the Nago Municipal Assembly.

Less than 24 hours later, voters elected Shimabukuro mayor by a wide margin over his two rivals. All three candidates oppose the agreement reached last October between Japan and the United States to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station in Ginowan to a coastal and offshore area adjacent to Camp Schwab near the Henoko district in eastern Nago.

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