Mass Okinawa demonstration to demand Marines leave island
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Okinawa’s staunchly anti-U.S. military Gov. Takeshi Onaga will be among tens of thousands of people who are expected to attend a demonstration Sunday in the wake of a U.S. civilian base worker’s arrest in the death of a 20-year-old Japanese woman.
Servicemembers, family members and civilians with SOFA status are being encouraged to stay home and avoid the area except on official travel, Marines and Air Force officials said.
The purpose of the rally — slated for 2 p.m. at Naha’s Onoyama Athletic Stadium — is to condemn Rina Shimabukuro’s death, remember the victim and demand the withdrawal of Marines from Okinawa, where more than half of the U.S. troops in Japan are based, organizers said. It will feature a litany of speakers, including businessmen and leaders of activist groups that have stated their opposition to the U.S. military presence on island.
A spokesman for Onaga confirmed the governor will attend but did not say whether he would speak.
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