Thousands of protesters are fed up with US military in Japan

Protesters want the U.S. military presence in Okinawa, Japan, gone and are gathering by the tens of thousands to make their point.

Negative views of the U.S. troops on the island heightened after an American civilian worker was arrested in connection with a local woman who was raped and murdered in May.

Several groups, including Okinawa's governor, helped organize the rally Sunday.

But opposing political parties that didn't attend and other lawmakers said the rally should be about remembering the woman's death, not about politics.

Okinawa has 26,000 U.S. military personnel stationed on the island. That's about half of all American military forces in Japan.

Those troops are currently in a monthlong "mourning period" over the rape and murder.

The rising tension comes two decades after three U.S. servicemen were arrested following the rape of a 12-year-old Japanese girl.

This video includes clips from U.S. Department of DefenseAsahiANN and NHK

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