The Japanese government is pushing forward with the expansion of a US military base in Okinawa despite more than 70 percent of residents voted against the project in a referendum on Sunday.
Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, told reporters that while the government accepts the feelings of the people of Okinawa, they are going forward with the plan anyway, saying the expanded US base “cannot be postponed any further.”
The result of the referendum had no binding power, but the local government is calling on the national governments of Japan and the US to respect the wishes of local people. The request will likely be ignored by both governments.
Construction for the US military is already underway, sea walls have been built and work has begun on nearly 400 acres of land for new runways.