Japan: Protesters gather for anti-US military rally in Okinawa



    Japan: Protesters gather for anti-US military rally in Okinawa

    June 19, Okinawa: Hundreds of people are gathering on the Japanese island of Okinawa to protest against the heavy US military presence there.

    Demonstrators are angry after a former US Marine employed as a civilian worker was arrested over the rape and murder of a local 20-year-old woman.

    The crowd will rally in the prefectural capital Naha, with a simultaneous gathering due to happen outside parliament in Tokyo in sympathy.

    The case has intensified longstanding opposition to the military bases, spurring calls for US military personnel to be moved off the island.

    Okinawa hosts 26,000 US military personnel. They work and live on bases that cover a fifth of the island and are a key part of the US-Japan security alliance.

    Okinawa's Governor Takeshi Onaga is expected to attend the Naha rally.

    The demonstrators will also call for the scrapping of plans by Washington and Tokyo to move a major US Marine facility in the centre of the island to a more remote area.

    The Oslo Times International News Network

     
     

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