Japan's prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, says it will be impossible to completely move an unpopular United States military base off the island of Okinawa.
Mr Hatoyama has appealed to residents to accept a plan to keep at least part of the base on the island.
Last month, nearly 100,000 demonstrators demanded that it be moved away from Okinawa altogether.
That was something the prime minister had promised he would try to do.
The island is home to over half the 47,000 American troops based in Japan, the BBC reports.
Okinawa's residents have long complained about the noise and crime they associate with the presence of the US base.