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Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda hopes to persuade Okinawans to accept the government’s highly contentious plan to move the Futenma air base elsewhere in the prefecture once the burden of hosting U.S. forces there starts to ease.

Vehement local opposition has stalled the proposed relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma within Okinawa for years, and Washington is growing increasingly impatient over the impasse.

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