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Japan’s Okinawa marks 50th anniversary of end of US occupation
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Japan’s Okinawa marks 50th anniversary of end of US occupation

Okinawa marks 50 yrs since US handover. Tamaki calls for reduction of US military presence.

Where: Okinawa, Japan

The Facts

Sunday marked 50 years since the end of the US occupation of Okinawa. The chain of islands, located between Taiwan and Japan in the East China Sea, was returned to Tokyo on May 15th, 1972.
Several US bases still stand on Okinawa. Citizens have long opposed the presence of military bases in the prefecture, expressing concerns that it could invite military aggression, especially given the rising tensions between China and Taiwan.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stated, “Even now, fifty years on, Okinawa still bears a heavy burden. We take this seriously and will do our utmost to reduce it.”
Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki urged the central government to do more to reduce the US military presence in the island group on Sunday.
Tamaki noted that despite Okinawa’s small size, it is still the site for 70% of US military bases in Japan. Tamaki added, “We still haven’t been able to make Okinawa an island of peace.”

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