The governor of Japan's Okinawa Prefecture delivered a speech in New York on Sunday, calling for support to block the relocation of a US military base within the prefecture.
About 140 people, including those who hail from Okinawa, attended Denny Tamaki's speech at New York University.
The governor is visiting the United States to meet government officials and to express his opposition to the relocation plan.
The Japanese government plans to shift the US Marine Corps' airbase from Ginowan City to the less-populated coastal district of Henoko in Nago City.
Tamaki said Okinawa accounts for only 0.6 percent of Japan's territory, but some 70 percent of US forces in the country are concentrated there. He said people in Okinawa oppose bases.
Tamaki said Okinawa faces pressure from the Japanese government over the issue. But he stressed the importance of dialogue and asked the audience to urge the US government to hold talks with the prefecture.
One woman whose mother is from Okinawa said she was excited by the governor's speech. She said she is proud that the prefecture keeps voicing opposition to the base relocation plan.