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GINOWAN, Okinawa — Okinawa mayors met Monday and unanimously passed a resolution calling for the immediate closure of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma and moving the air units outside Japan.

“It is significant that all 11 mayors united to express the voice of the people of Okinawa,” Naha Mayor Takeshi Onaga said.

The mayors plan to deliver their resolution to Tokyo sometime before an anti-base rally April 25 on Okinawa, he said.

In March, the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly unanimously passed a similar resolution. Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima has also voiced his opposition.

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s left-center government has been looking to recommend its own plan for moving Futenma units since it took power in September. The party campaigned on a promise to review the 2006 U.S.-Japan bilateral agreement that called for shifting the Marine Corps air assets to the more rural site of Camp Schwab on Okinawa’s Henoko Peninsula.

Hatoyama missed his recent deadline for selecting an alternate site but continues to work toward an end-of-May deadline for finalizing an agreement with the U.S. on a new plan.


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