A tense atmosphere prevails in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, during its centennial this year due to the planned deployment of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier at U.S. Yokosuka Naval Base.

Last year Mayor Ryoichi Kabaya announced a decision to accept the deployment. Subsequently, a citizens’ group campaigning against the deployment collected a number of signatures from supporters far more than necessary to call for a referendum. The group officially asked the mayor Jan. 17 to enact the referendum ordinance, and the mayor will convene an extraordinary session of the city assembly early next month to discuss the issue.

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