NAGO, Okinawa Prefecture--An estimated 400 opponents of the proposed relocation of a U.S. military base staged the first protest of the year here on Jan. 5 as the central government prepares to resume full-scale land reclamation work.
Protesters plan to continue daily rallies opposing the relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan to Nago's Henoko district, both in the prefecture.
Amid light rain, the demonstrators sat in front of the main gate of Marine Corps Camp Schwab, also in the Henoko district, chanting, “Protect the sea of Henoko” and “We don't want a military base in Okinawa.”
Nago Mayor Susumu Inamine also attended the protest.
The central government resumed work on the Futenma relocation on Dec. 27 after Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga withdrew his decision to rescind approval for land reclamation at the planned site given by his predecessor.
The work resumed for the first time since March 2016, when it was temporarily halted following a court-mediated settlement between the central and Okinawa prefectural governments.