Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided to suspend work on moving a U.S. Marine base and talk about the contentious relocation on the southern island of Okinawa.

Abe said Friday he is accepting a court proposal not to force the land reclamation work over Okinawa's objections. Both sides have sued each other over the base relocation plan, and a court in February made the proposal as an interim step allowing the sides to talk.

Abe said the government's plan to move the Futenma air station to the town of Henoko is unchanged. The relocation is based on a 20-year-old bilateral agreement to reduce the burden of the U.S. military presence on Okinawa.

Opponents want the base moved off Okinawa entirely.