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Monday, 26th April 2010
In Events In Japan,

Japanese protest over US base

Thousands of Japanese have protested over a controversial US military base on the island of Okinawa.

The location of the military base has long been a contentious issue, with both Washington and Tokyo disagreeing and locals who live on the island voicing concerns over the noise and pollution caused by the stationing of troops there.

The US has had a heavy military presence in Japan since the end of the second world war.

Almost 100,000 people attended a rally demanding the base be moved off Okinawa, which Japanese prime minister Yukio Hatoyama pledged to do as part of his election campaign.

An agreement between the US and Japan already states that the base needs to be moved from its current location in the centre of Okinawa, to a new site on the island's coast.

BBC correspondent Roland Buerk noted that the prime minister has come under fire for apparently dragging his feet on moving the base.

Written by Kimberley Homer.

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