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  4. 2022.5.27

Okinawa marks 50 years since reversion from US rule沖縄本土復帰から50年

Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki speaks at a commemoration ceremony held in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, on May 15.© KYODO
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Okinawa Prefecture on May 15 marked 50 years since its reversion to Japan from U.S. rule as residents remain frustrated over a weak local economy and the continued presence of U.S. military bases despite decades of protest.

At a commemoration ceremony held at a convention center near U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Gov. Denny Tamaki urged the central government to undertake “sincere efforts” to make Okinawa “an island of peace,” saying that the mutual goal made at the time of reversion remains unfulfilled.

“Even after 50 years … the people of Okinawa continue to be forced to shoulder excessive base-hosting burdens,” Tamaki said in his speech, citing accidents and crimes involving U.S. troops as some glaring examples of the cost.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, in his remarks at the event, acknowledged the continuing “large base-hosting burden” on Okinawa, and pledged to “steadily make visible progress on the alleviation of the burden while maintaining the deterrence offered by the Japan-U.S. alliance.”

Okinawa was returned to Japan on May 15, 1972 — 20 years after Japan regained its sovereignty following its defeat in World War II. During the U.S. administration granted under the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty, land was expropriated and turned into military bases. (Kyodo)

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