50 Years On: U.S. Bases Still Posing Heavy Burdens on Okinawa


Naha, Okinawa Pref., May 11 (Jiji Press)--The bulk of U.S. military bases in Japan continue to be in Okinawa Prefecture, posing heavy burdens on local residents.

The largest ground battles in Japan during the Pacific War, part of World War II, took place in Okinawa, between the U.S.-led allied forces and then Japanese troops. U.S. bases were rapidly built in Okinawa after Japan's defeat in the war in August 1945.

Symbolizing the heavy local burdens is the planned relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air station within the southernmost Japan prefecture. Under Japan-U.S. agreements, the base, now in the city of Ginowan, is slated to be transferred to the Henoko coastal district in the city of Nago.

Japan and the United States made a political decision to relocate the base's functions to Henoko to put into action their agreement on the return of the whole of the Futenma site to the Japanese side. But anger among locals remains over the prefecture having to continue hosting the base.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press