NAHA (Kyodo) Candidates opposed to a Japan-U.S. plan to relocate a major U.S. Marine base to the city of Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, have secured a majority in Sunday’s municipal assembly election, according to Kyodo News projections, boosting Mayor Susumu Inamine, who was elected in January on a platform opposing the plan.
The result is likely to hamper the efforts of Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s government to win local understanding following its acceptance of the bilateral accord signed by the previous administration in May.
The result could also affect the upcoming Okinawa gubernatorial election on Nov. 28.
According to Kyodo News projections, at least 15 candidates supportive of Inamine have secured seats in the 27-member assembly.
All of the candidates supporting Inamine have said they are opposed to hosting a replacement facility for the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station, located in the Okinawa city of Ginowan.
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