Thousands of people rallied in Okinawa in southern Japan on Sunday in protest against a controversial US airbase on the island, as a two-decade-old bitter row over the relocation of the site drags on.
Okinawa is home to more than half of the 47,000 US service personnel stationed in Japan as part of a defence alliance, a proportion many islanders say is too high.
Futenma airbase has become emblematic of that ill-will since Washington announced plans to move it in 1996, hoping to ease tensions with the host community after the gang-rape of a schoolgirl by servicemen.
But locals have blocked the move to relocate the base, insisting the facility should go off-island instead, queering relations between Tokyo and Okinawa — a once independent kingdom that was annexed by Japan in the 19th century.
“The government says we are to blame that the issue has stalled for 19 years and they tell us to find an alternative place (for the base relocation). That’s outrageous,” shouted the anti-US base mayor of Nago, Susumu Inamine.
“The government is thrusting their responsibility on us,” Inamine told a packed 15,000-seat baseball stadium.
Organisers estimated that about 35,000 people also turned up for a rally in Naha, Okinawa’s capital.
Deadlock has deepened recently after preparatory building work on the coast begun in the face of vehement opposition from the local government in Okinawa.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last month insisted the current re-location plan was “the only solution,” while anti-base Okinawa governor Takeshi Onaga hit back saying that three recent popular votes in Okinawa all showed overwhelming opposition to the move.
“The current government is pushing the plan. Is it really a democratic country?” said protester Kiku Nakayama, 86, who as a teenager worked as a nurse for soldiers towards the end of World War II.
“We have to remove the risks of exposing Okinawa to war again,” she said.
While most Japanese value the protection the US alliance gives them, especially in the context of Beijing’s growing regional assertiveness, a sizable proportion of Okinawans want a dramatic reduction in their numbers.
Donald Trump: ‘My life has always been a fight’
The full interview with President Donald Trump finally aired on ABC Sunday, revealing the shocking way that he views his life.
Trump lamented that he's had such a hard life, as the son of multi-millionaires who paid to get him out of trouble multiple times.
"You're a fighter. You, you, it feels like you're in a constant kind of churn--" host George Stephanopoulos began.
"Yeah, uh, my life has always been a fight," Trump said. "And I enjoy that I guess, I don't know if I enjoy it or not, I guess -- sometimes I have false fights like the Russian witch hunt. That's a false fight. That's a made-up, uh, hoax. And I had to fight that."
The right-wing scored more in years of Trump than eight years of George W. Bush: report
President George W. Bush oversaw eight years that restricted rights, banned LGBTQ equality, appointed anti-choice judges and so much more. But under Donald Trump's presidency, social conservatives have managed to roll back any progress made by President Barack Obama's leadership.
A new Axios report listed out any anti-LGBTQ, anti-women and anti-poor policies.
“He campaigned saying that he would be a good friend to LGBT people,” James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s LGBT and HIV Project, told VOX. "Actions speak far louder than words. And what he's done has been a wreck."
Pete Buttigieg says ‘statistically’ we’ve already had a gay president — meet President James Buchanan
In an interview with Axios, Mayor Pete Buttigieg said that "statistically" it makes sense that out of the 45 presidents in American history, one of them was LGBT. Statistics aside, the reality is that former President James Buchanan has prompted historians to question.
The moment came when the Axios HBO show questioned what the young mayor would do when he's attacked for being "too gay."
"Republicans claimed that John Kerry was a traitor in Vietnam. That Barack Obama was a Muslim. If you were to win the nomination, they'll say you're too young, too liberal, too gay to be commander-in-chief. You are young. You are a liberal. You are gay. How will you respond?" asked Mike Allen.