The Okinawa governor's OK of landfill work to relocate the U.S. Futenma air base sparked protests against U.S. military presence within the Japanese prefecture.
Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima said Friday approval of the landfill application was given because the application "contains all possible steps that could be taken at present to protect the environment," Kyodo News reported.
"The eagerness exhibited by [Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's] administration is way stronger than past governments," Nakaima said during a news conference in the prefecture's capital of Naha.
He called the latest package presented by Abe "well-balanced."
About 1,000 anti-base protesters stormed the prefecture's government office in Naha after forming a human chain around the building, Kyodo News said. They also called for a meeting with Nakima.