TOKYO — An election Sunday for the governor of a southern Japanese island where a controversial US Marine base is located is likely to cause more problems for Japan's relations with key ally, the United States, as both leading candidates want the base off the island.
The US Futenma air base has been located on Okinawa island since 1945, and residents have long complained it produces aircraft noise and crime.
A 2006 deal between the US and Japan to relocate the base to a less crowded location on Okinawa has sunk into stalemate. Public opinion in Okinawa remains opposed to the plan. The controversy even toppled a prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, earlier this year.