Photo/IllutrationRally participants on Aug. 11 hoist signs against the planned relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to the Henoko district of Nago in northern Okinawa Prefecture. (Masaru Komiyaji)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

NAHA--Tens of thousands of anti-U.S. base protesters rallied here Aug. 11 to honor the memory of Takeshi Onaga, the Okinawa governor who died three days earlier and had championed their cause.

The protesters, estimated to number 70,000, turned out in the rain to renew their opposition to the central government's plan to relocate U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to the Henoko district of Nago in northern Okinawa Prefecture.

Onaga was a leading voice in opposition to the planned move from Ginowan of the Futenma base. He died Aug. 8 of pancreatic cancer at age 67.

A moment of silence was observed for Onaga.

Participants vowed to continue their opposition to land reclamation work at the Henoko district. Dirt and sand is scheduled to be dumped into waters off Henoko from Aug. 17.

Rally participants approved a resolution calling on the central government to immediately cancel its plan to construct a new base at Henoko.

Similar gatherings and protest marches were also held Aug. 11 in Tokyo and Nagoya.