6,000 rally in Tokyo against Futenma relocation

Japan Today

TOKYO —Some 6,000 people gathered Saturday in Tokyo to rally against relocating the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station within Okinawa, as debate on the issue intensifies following the local election victory of a relocation opponent. Consumer affairs minister Mizuho Fukushima, who took part in the rally, reiterated her resolve to see the base moved out of Okinawa or Japan altogether. Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has said all options remain open, including the current plan to relocate it within Okinawa, until a final decision is taken in May.

‘‘I hope to win the struggle in terms of having the land for the Futenma base returned and seeing that no more burdens are placed on Okinawa,’’ Fukushima said in an address to the gathering, which was organized by civic groups such as Peace Forum and included more than 100 participants from Okinawa.

‘‘We have several months to go before reaching a conclusion at the end of May, and we will definitely win with all our might,’’ said the head of the small ruling coalition partner Social Democratic Party.

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