— Thousands of Japanese linked hands and encircled a Marine Corps base in Okinawa on Sunday to protest its presence on the island, putting more pressure on Tokyo to resolve an impasse over the base's future.
About 17,000 residents surrounded the Futenma air base early in the afternoon, chanting slogans and completing a human chain twice for several minutes each time, city official Hitoshi Nakou said. The base covers about 1.9 square miles (4.92 sq. kilometers), and sits in the middle of Ginowan, a city of about 93,000.
Hatoyama is increasingly caught between locals emboldened by his promises for a new deal with the U.S. and Japan's close military alliance with Washington, which wants him to stick to the original plan. He had promised to come up with a solution by the end of this month, but seems to have backed away from that deadline in recent comments.
Unless this situation is resolved, Hatoyama and his party are going to lose their collective shirts in the next election.