The governor of Okinawa has taken his effort to block the construction of a new U.S. military site in Japan to a United Nations human rights body, arguing that democracy and self-determination are threatened because his constituents oppose it.

Gov. Takeshi Onaga says he's the first Japanese governor to appear before the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva. He wants to put an international spotlight on U.S. Marine Air Station Futenma, which is slated to move to a less-developed area on Okinawa called Henoko.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Onaga faulted a lack of "transparency" from Japan's government about whether it won't stand up to the U.S. or actually wants the base. He said U.S. Sen John McCain told him he saw it as a domestic Japanese matter.