TOKYO, March 22 (Xinhua) -- The Japanese government on Friday submitted an application to Okinawa prefectural government for land reclamation to relocate the U.S. Futenma base within the island prefecture, local media reported.
The application is for land reclamation in the less-populated coastal area of Henoko in Okinawa to relocate the U.S. Futenma air base, which now locates in a crowded residential area in Ginowan in the prefecture, according to Japan's Kyodo News Agency.
Japan and the United States agreed to move the key U.S. base within the prefecture and both sides confirmed the plan would be proceeded during a meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U. S. President Barack Obama last month in Washington.
However, Okinawa government and residents have given voice to protest the plan and wanted the base to be moved outside the prefecture, which hosts a bulk of U.S. bases in Japan.
Relations between the prefectural government and Japanese central government chilled due to the relocation issue, although Abe said his government is mulling to reduce Okinawa's burden of hosting the U.S. bases.