Residents protest relocation of US military bases in Okinawa

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Japanese angry over resumed construction work on Futenma air base

Angry protests and scuffles have erupted in Japan at a U.S. military base on Okinawa. Tokyo has resumed work to relocate the base, farther north on the island, but many Japanese want it off the island altogether.

CGTN’s Jack Barton reports.

Residents protest relocation of US military bases in Okinawa

Residents protest relocation of US military bases in Okinawa

Angry protests and scuffles have erupted in Japan at a U.S. military base on Okinawa. Tokyo has resumed work to relocate the base, farther north on the island, but many Japanese want it off the island altogether. CGTN's Jack Barton reports.

In addition to protestors, even the local government is fighting Tokyo’s plans to relocate a U.S. base. But the they have been overruled by Japan’s Supreme Court.

It’s believed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe traveled to Washington with an assurance for President Trump the new base will go ahead.

Most locals want the base scrapped as well as the other 32 U.S. military sites on Okinawa and surrounding islands.

Almost three-quarters of all U.S. military personnel deployed to Japan are stationed on Okinawa and occupy more than 10 percent of the island.

The protests permeate every level of society. Students from the Ginowan City Ladies Association are writing letters to the government to close the bases, such as the one less than 100 meters away that Michiko Namihira said is a source of endless noise pollution.

One uncomfortable reality is that the U.S. military is a major source of income for the island and when bases shift, towns wither.