Several hundred people rallied Tuesday ahead of a visit by U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy to the Japanese island of Okinawa to protest plans to relocate an American military base there.
Okinawa is home to more than half of the 47,000 American troops based in Japan under a bilateral defense pact. Kennedy, who arrived later Tuesday, is to meet with Okinawan officials and may see the base relocation site during her three-day visit, Kyodo News agency reported.
Holding signs that read, “No base!” and “Bring democracy to Okinawa,” more than 300 protesters, many of them families with children, marched on the main street of Naha to the sound of drums and music, urging authorities to remove the U.S. bases from the island altogether.