TOKYO, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Saturday that his government will implement a plan to relocate a U.S. key marine base within Japan's Okinawa Prefecture, despite local opposition, local media reported.
Abe, who was in his first visit to Okinawa after he reclaimed the premiership last December, met with Governor Hirokazu Nakaima and said that the central government will relocate the U.S. Futenma Air Base within the prefecture, a plan agreed by Japan and the United States, reported the Kyodo News Agency.
Under the plan, the Futenma base that locates in a crowed resident district in Ginowan in Okinawa will be moved to a less populated coastal area in the prefecture's Henoko.
Nakaima said local opposition against the plan remains strong and he urged the central government to move the base as soon as possible, preferably out of Okinawa, according to the report.
Abe also told the governor that his government is mulling to reduce the Okinawa's burden of hosting U.S. forces, the report said.
The visit is several weeks ahead Abe's U.S. trip which is expected to be in the third week of February and is considered a preparation for Abe's talks with U.S. President Barack Obama.