Monday, 9th November 2009
In Events In Japan,
Protests held over US presence
A large-scale protest has taken place in Japan over the presence of the US military on the island of Okinawa, with tens of thousands of Japanese attending the event.
The Futenma air base has been at the centre of much controversy recently, after the new Japanese president Yukio Hatoyama announced that he wants to reduce the country's reliance on members of the US military.
Estimates suggested that as many as 21,000 people took part in the protest, which took place in the city of Ginowan.
Speaking at the protest, major of Ginowan Yoshiko Yonamine said: "No other place in the world has had US troops stationed there as long as Okinawa. Okinawa has suffered for too long."
The air base is in a city centre on the island and residents have long since complained over noise and pollution levels, as well as crime levels which they claim are elevated by the base being there.
Written by Kimberley Homer.