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Monday, 25th January 2010
In Events In Japan,

Okinawa base opponent wins vote

The new mayor of the city of Okinawa is fiercely opposed to the relocation of a controversial US Marine base on the island and his appointment could lead to more tension between the US and Japan.

The construction of a new base on the island of Okinawa has long been the subject of much discussion between the two nations, after the newly elected Japanese prime minister expressed a desire to reduce the country's reliance on the US armed forces.

Now, the election of an anti-base mayor in Okinawa is likely to lead to more dispute.

Susumu Inamine beat his pro-base rival by more than 1,500 votes and prime minister Yukio Hatoyama said the result showed "the will of the people".

Many residents of the island are strongly opposed to the existing base and accuse the Marines who already live there of being noisy and disrespectful to the locals.

A final decision on where the base replacement is to be built is due in May.

Written by Kimberley Homer.

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