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Queen guitarist May seeks signatures for petition against Okinawa base transfer work

This screen capture from Brian May's Twitter account shows the Jan. 7 tweet calling on people to sign a petition to halt land reclamation work off the Henoko district of Nago, Okinawa Prefecture.

TOKYO -- A member of legendary British rock band Queen made a Twitter appeal on Jan. 7 for people to sign a petition calling for suspension of landfill work for the construction of a U.S. base in the southernmost prefecture of Okinawa.

Brian May, who is also an astronomer, quoted a tweet from Okinawan-Hawaiian musician Robert Kajiwara. Kajiwara is gathering signatures for the drive on the White House's "We the People" petition website to bring to a halt the work on the new U.S. Marine facility in the Henoko district of the city of Nago until a prefectural referendum regarding the base to be held in February.

May wrote, "URGENT!!! URGENT!!! PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION to save a beautiful coral reef and irreplaceable eco-system, threatened by USA extending an airbase," and in his Instagram post, he wrote, "URGENT! Last chance to sign a petition to stop the destruction of an irreplaceable coral reef in Okinawa."

His tweet had more than 10,700 retweets as of 5 p.m. on Jan. 7.

As the petition reached the 100,000 signature benchmark within 30 days of its launch on Dec. 8, 2018, the U.S. government is required to respond. Some 180,000 people have signed so far.

(Japanese original by Maki Nakajima, News Layout Center)

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