Opponents of a new U.S. Marine Corps base in Okinawa delivered a fresh rebuke to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as former Naha Mayor Takeshi Onaga won the prefecture's gubernatorial contest Sunday night in an election closely followed by Tokyo and Washington.

Onaga cruised to victory against incumbent Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima on a platform opposing the construction of a replacement facility in Nago's Henoko district for U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, at present located in the crowded central city of Ginowan.

Speaking to backers and reporters just minutes after polls closed at 8 p.m. and he was declared the victor, Onaga said a new chapter in Okinawa's history had begun, especially in regards to the future of the Henoko base, which he vowed to stop, announcing he would reverse Nakaima's decision to approve a contentious landfill permit for the relocation.