Okinawa anti-base faction’s POLL win puts governor in driver’s seat

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NAHA, OKINAWA PREF.: Okinawan voters gave Gov. Takeshi Onaga high marks Sunday night in a prefectural assembly election widely viewed as a midterm report on his administration and policies related to US military bases. With the anti-base governor now firmly in control of the assembly, Okinawa’s stance on the controversial replacement facility for US Marine Corps Air Base Futenma is expected to harden—much to the chagrin of the central government. Calls are also likely grow for revisions to the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that would give local governments more autonomy and authority over US military personnel accused of crimes. Onaga supporters now have 27 of the prefectural assembly’s 48 seats, slightly increasing their majority.

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