Okinawa governor approves relocation of US base

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Associated Press

Posted on December 27, 2013 at 12:03 AM

Updated Friday, Dec 27 at 2:33 AM

TOKYO (AP) — The governor of Okinawa has signed off on the long-awaited relocation of a U.S. military base, a major step toward allowing the U.S. to move forward with plans to consolidate its troops on the southern Japanese islands and move some to Guam.

Japanese media reported Friday that Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima approved the Japanese government's application to reclaim land for a new base on Okinawa's coast. The base would replace the U.S. Marine Corps base in Futenma, a more congested part of Okinawa's main island.

Nakaima's decision could still face court challenges and protests. Opponents want the base moved off Okinawa completely.

The U.S. has had a major military presence in Okinawa dating from the end of World War II.

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