Japan Overturns Move to Block Expansion of U.S. Base in Okinawa

  • Decision on base construction may reignite protests over plan
  • Base is a point of tension between Tokyo and Washington

Okinawa is a critical part of the U.S. military presence in Asia, playing host to about half the roughly 50,000 U.S. military personnel in Japan, the biggest deployment of American forces outside the home front.

Photographer: Toru Yamanaka/AFP via Getty Images

Japan invalidated a decision by Okinawa’s governor to stop landfill work for a controversial expansion of a U.S. base, in a move that is likely to reignite protests by islanders against the central government in Tokyo and the Obama administration.

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