Okinawa Anti-Base Governor Hirokazu Nakaima Re-elected

by
staphni
"The governor of Japan's Okinawa has been re-elected, in a poll which was closely tied to the future of a controversial US base on the island.

Hirokazu Nakaima, who has fiercely opposed the relocation of the Futenma base, repeated his call that it be removed from the island.

Mr Nakaima had faced tough opposition from Mayor Yoichi Iha. But he will now have the power to veto the plan, which has severely strained ties between Tokyo and Washington.

Mr Nakaima, who was elected governor in 2006, had in the past endorsed the relocation plan but later changed his stance. ""I am demanding the base be removed off the island and the Japan-US agreement be reviewed,"" the Jiji news agency quoted him as saying.

""It's up to the [central] government how to deal with it."" The unpopular Futenma base is located in the densely populated south of the island.

Both the US and Japan want to relocate it to a new offshore facility in the less populated north.

But residents and law makers in Henoko oppose the plan, as do environmentalists who say it will devastate marine life in the area.

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-11858992