TOKYO – The governor of Okinawa is pushing for three-way talks involving his group of islands, Japan's central government and the U.S. on how to move forward following a referendum that rejected a relocation plan for an American military base.
The referendum is not legally binding but Gov. Danny Tamaki stressed that it holds significance and must be respected.
He told reporters after meeting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Joseph Young in Tokyo that "the democracy of the Japanese government is now being tested."
Tamaki says he delivered a letter for President Donald Trump about the referendum.
The results of Sunday's vote showed 72 percent of Okinawans oppose the plan for the Marine air base being built on a landfill in coastal Henoko.