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Kyodo News+ kyodonews.net 15 May, 2022 01:30 am

Okinawa marks 50 years since reversion from U.S. rule as bases remain

Okinawa marks 50 years since reversion from U.S. rule as bases remain
The southern island prefecture of Okinawa on May 15 marked 50 years since its reversion to Japan from U.S. rule as residents' frustrations continue over a weak local economy and ever-present U.S. military bases despite decades of protest.

bases in the country, despite its stated hope of becoming "a peaceful island free of military bases" upon its return to Japanese rule.December 1953 -- Amami Islands near Okinawa return to Japanese rule.June 1968 -- Ogasawara Islands return to Japanese rule.Repeated calls to alleviate their burden of hosting the bases have largely been ignored by the central government, which has emphasized the strategic importance of Okinawa due to its proximity to potential flashpoints such as Taiwan, in the face of an expanding Chinese military presence.

The central government also claims that the presence of U.While the central government is determined to build a replacement facility in a less populated coastal area of Okinawa, many Okinawans demand the base be relocated outside of the island prefecture.

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