Tens of thousands of people have rallied on the southern Japanese Island of Okinawa to protest a government plan to relocate and expand a US air base there.
According to organizers and media sources, some 70,000 people took part in the rally at a park in Okinawa’s capital, Naha, on Saturday to protest government plans for the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.
The residents of Okinawa have long argued that while, under the government plan, the US military base would be moved from the heavily-populated town of Ginowan to the remote coastal area of Henoko in Nago, it would still pose an environmental threat. They have long demanded that the US base be removed from the island altogether.
Tokyo is to start dumping soil into Henoko Bay within days to prepare for the new site, which will reportedly be bigger. Environmental groups say construction at the bay would…