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As attention begins to turn to an earlier-than-expected gubernatorial election in Okinawa Prefecture in the wake of Gov. Takeshi Onaga’s untimely death, we must not lose sight of the more important vote at stake that is slowly and quietly working its way through the process.

That vote is a prefectural referendum on the relocation of the functions of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to the shores of Camp Schwab in northern Okinawa. It would be the first vote at the prefectural level specifically on the planned move to the Henoko area.

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