More than 100,000 people have signed a petition asking the US White House to stop the landfill work at the Henoko district in Nago city on the coast of Okinawa Prefecture, southwestern Japan.
A man of Okinawa descent residing in the United States launched the petition on December 8th, demanding the reclamation work be suspended until a prefectural referendum is held in February. The referendum will question whether to allow a new US base to be built at Henoko.
The reclamation started last week so that an offshore facility can be built to replace the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station in a densely populated part of Okinawa.
The petition garnered more than 126,000 signatures as of five PM Japan time on Wednesday.
The US government accepts a petition on the White House website. If a petition receives more than 100,000 signatures within a 30-day period, the White House is supposed to issue an official response to it.
Attention is focused on what action the US government will take. The US has maintained the stance of proceeding with the base relocation in cooperation with the Japanese government.