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Tuesday, June 21, 2016, 10:07

China responds to US base protest in Japan

By Xinhua

China responds to US base protest in Japan
Demonstrators hold placards that read "Withdraw Marine Corps" during a rally against the US military presence in Naha, Okinawa prefecture on June 19, 2016, following the alleged rape and murder of a local woman by a former US marine and a civilian worke r employed on the US military base. (TORU YAMANAKA / AFP)

BEIJING - China on Monday urged the United States to do more for regional peace and stability following a demonstration in Okinawa demanding the removal of US military bases there.

Around 65,000 people gathered in a park in Okinawa on Sunday to protest against US military presence there following the brutal rape and murder of a 20-year-old woman in April. Some demanded the US bases, including Futenma, be removed out of Okinawa.

"The Futenma base is an issue between Japan and the US China has always maintained Japan-US alliance, as a bilateral arrangement, should not exceed bilateral scope or target third parties," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a regular news briefing.

"It is worth thinking about how the US presence serves the interests of countries and people in the region," Hua said.

Military bases have been part of the Japan-US security alliance for decades. Okinawa hosts some 75 percent of US bases in Japan, yet the tiny sub-tropical island accounts for less than one percent of the county's total land mass. Anti-US sentiment is at a high following the latest rape and murder.

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