Sit - In Protest Against U.s. Base Relocation In Okinawa Marks 500 Days

Sit-in protest against U.S. base relocation in Okinawa marks 500 daysCitizens opposed to the U.S.-Japan plan to relocate a key U.S. air base within Okinawa marked the 500th day Wednesday of their sit-in protest near the planned replacement area with about 1,000 protestors gathering for a milestone rally.

The rally in front of the U.S. Marines' Camp Schwab came a day after the national government filed a lawsuit demanding Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga retract his decision to block landfill work for the relocation, paving the way for a court battle between the central and Okinawa governments.

"Let us carve out Okinawa's future with the governor," said Hiroji Yamashiro, 63, chairman of a local peace movement group that organizes demonstrations over the cause, at the gathering where people chanted "Let's stop the new base" and other slogans.