A bloc of assembly members opposed to relocating a key U.S. military base within Okinawa Prefecture retained a majority in Sunday's prefectural election.

The result mirrors strong local sentiment against the push by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government to keep U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma within the prefecture by completing a replacement facility for the base in the Henoko coastal district of Nago.

With the majority, Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki will be in a stronger position to oppose the central government's plan to move the base, which is considered to pose a danger to local residents given its current location in a densely populated area of Ginowan.