The governor of Okinawa Denny Tamaki appealed to Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to cease plans of relocating a US air base in Okinawa Island during a press conference in Tokyo on Friday, following the results of a referendum showing widespread discontent with the move.

The existing air base on the island of Okinawa is set to be relocated about 48 kilometres (30 miles) further north. On Sunday, a non-legally-binding referendum revealed over 70 percent of island residents opposed the plans. Despite the result, Prime Minister Abe declared the next day that the relocation would still go ahead.

“It appears that the government of Japan has apparently ignored the result of the prefectural local referendum held on February 24, as well as protesters gathered at the White House in the U.S,” Tamaki said.

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