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Monday, 1st February 2010
In Events In Japan,

Japanese protest over US military base

Thousands of Japanese have taken part in a protest in Tokyo over the continued US military presence on one of the nation's islands.

According to reports, almost 10,000 people marched in the city to protest against plans to move a US military base which is situated on Okinawa.

The protestors want the Futenma base removed completely.

Since the end of the second world war, Japan has been home to large numbers of US troops but since the election of new prime minster Yukio Hatoyama in August last year, the issue of US presence has been a contentious one.

After his election, Hatoyama said he wished to reduce Japan's reliance on the US military and local residents on Okinawa have long complained about the base - accusing soldiers of being noisy as well as raising concerns over the pollution emitted by the base.

In 2006, the US and Japan agreed that the base would move to the coastal region of Nago, but many want the base completely shut down.

Written by Mark Smith.

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