(From AFP)

Thousands of demonstrators rallied on the Japanese island of Okinawa on Sunday against the heavy U.S. military presence and violent crimes by American personnel that have angered residents for decades.

Policemen try to block people protesting against the presence of U.S. bases in front of the gate of the US Marine Corps’ Camp Schwab in Nago

Protesters, which organizers expected to number more than 50,000, gathered in the prefectural capital Naha, infuriated with the United States after a former Marine employed as a civilian base worker allegedly raped and murdered a young local woman in April.

The case has intensified longstanding opposition to the bases — a key part of the U.S.-Japan security alliance— on the sub-tropical southern outpost, a popular holiday destination for Japanese and, increasingly, China and other Asian countries. Read More

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