Protesters gathered near Nago, Okinawa, on Monday to protest against the relocation of the new U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station.
Protesters tried to block the passage of construction vehicles that were loaded with rocks, sand and soil and heading to the construction site of the new base. The protest remained largely peaceful, however police officers carried away by force some of those obstructing the trucks.
The rally was held as the first round of land fill work for the relocation of the Air Station continued. A second round of works is set to start in March, according to local media sources.
Aerial footage shows piles of soil being dumped into the waters of Henoko Bay as the government resumed work to relocate the US Futenma base to Henoko's Nago district on the island of Okinawa.
The move prompted strong reactions from the local governor and community, who believe that Okinawa is over-burdened with an excess of military bases, and that other areas of Japan should share the responsibility.
Okinawa hosts around 25,000 US troops - roughly half of the total US deployment to the country - despite accounting for less than one percent of Japan's total land area, and taking up approximately 25 percent of the island's total area.