The results of the Okinawa gubernatorial election on Sunday is the clearest rejection to date by local voters of the national government’s plan to build a new base on the island to relocate the functions of the U.S. Marine’s Air Station Futenma. The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should heed the verdict by the voters and rethink its policy of forging ahead — irrespective of the election outcome — with construction of the replacement facility off the Henoko district of Nago.

Takeshi Onaga, former mayor of Naha who campaigned on the promise of halting the construction of the new U.S. military airfield, won roughly 360,000 votes against 261,000 votes gained by the incumbent Hirokazu Nakaima, who was seeking reelection to a third term after giving the go-ahead last year for land reclamation off Henoko to build the new facility in a reversal of his position four years ago.

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