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Outcry

90,000 Protest U.S. Base in Japan

In one of Okinawa’s largest protests in years, 90,000 locals took to the streets Sunday. The demonstrators were fighting the relocation of an American air base from the central city of Ginowan to a less-populated area on the southern Japanese island—demanding that Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama renege on a 2006 contract with the U.S. to relocate the Futenma Marine Corps Air Station to a different location on the island. Hatoyama had campaigned on the promise of ridding the island of the base altogether and reducing U.S. military presence in general. Close to half of the 50,000 United States military personnel in Japan live on the island. Hatoyama's approval ratings have fallen below 30 percent, and media commentators have begun to call for his resignation if he fails to resolve the situation by May. The U.S. remains adamant in upholding the agreement, causing tension between the two countries.

April 25, 2010 4:07 PM